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Braves | 3B platoon working well

The Atlanta Braves platoon at third base between 3Bs Juan Francisco and Chris D. Johnson has worked out very well. Francisco, who hits left-handed, is hitting .302 with five home runs in 63 at-bats, and Johnson, who swings from the right side, is batting .419 (13-for-31) with two home runs against southpaws. Johnson actually hit better against righties last year, but Johnson focused on improving against lefties in the offseason, and he worked extensively with hitting coach Greg Walker. "My bat path," Johnson said. "Two things I try to focus on is being on time and keeping a strong path through the zone, not try to be in and out. (He's kept his hands lower in his stance this year.) If I have a good path then my bat stays in the zone a long time, it gives you more of a chance to stay in the middle of the field and get some hits."

Fantasy Tip: Johnson and Francisco should both be owned in deep enough mixed universes since Atlanta is putting them both in excellent spots to succeed with the bats. Francisco's power is more intriguing, and he could hit 20 to 25 homers with enough at-bats under his belt. Johnson was more productive when he was playing every day with Freddie Freeman on the DL, so his current pace may not last, however.

2013-05-09 14:22:41 | Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - David O'Brien

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