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Thu, 09 May 2013 14:22:41 -0700
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.
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:48:05 -0700
Atlanta Braves 3B Chris D. Johnson said he has been working with hitting coach Greg Walker on his bat path and keeping the ball in the strike zone longer. He is also working on hitting the ball up the middle and from gap-to-gap. "I'm a load-early guy," Johnson said. "My foot gets down early, so I have a tendency to come up and out of my swing. Just working on making sure I'm staying inside the ball and using the big part of the field."
Sun, 21 Apr 2013 10:07:32 -0700
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is considering making 3B Chris D. Johnson as the team's regular third baseman once 1B Freddie Freeman (oblique) comes off the 15-day disabled list.
Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:49:36 -0700
Atlanta Braves C Evan Gattis remains in the lineup Friday, April 12, and is starting at first base. Gattis played just seven games at first base at Single-A Rome back in 2011. Manager Fredi Gonzalez wanted to keep C Gerald Laird paired with SP Julio Teheran Friday. Gattis is hitting .391 with three home runs, six RBIs and an .826 slugging percentage in 23 at-bats. 3B Chris D. Johnson moved across the diamond to third base.
Fantasy Tip: Because of his hot hitting to start the year, Atlanta may be forced to go with three catchers to keep Gattis on roster when Brian McCann (shoulder) returns from the infirmary. Gattis will lose decent playing time, however, if that's the case.
Thu, 21 Mar 2013 16:34:12 -0700
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't plan to announce a winner in the third base competition between 3Bs Juan Francisco and Chris D. Johnson anytime soon, meaning they'll likely be involved in a platoon to start the season. Francisco is hitting .353 (18-for-51) with five home runs, 11 RBIs and a .686 slugging percentage in 18 games and Johnson is hitting .352 (19-for-54) with three home runs, 11 RBIs and a .537 slugging percentage in 20 games. Francisco eliminated some of the inward turn of his right knee in his batting stance over the winter.
Fantasy Tip: Francisco is the more intriguing fantasy player here, but he loses some luster in a platoon scenario. The power is real, but he'll need to make more contact and improve against lefties to completely knock Johnson out of the picture.
Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:46:08 -0700
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team likely will use a platoon of 3B Chris D. Johnson and 3B Juan Francisco to begin the regular season. Gonzalez said both are playing too well to give the job to just one.
Fantasy Tip: A platoon probably will hurt the value of Johnson and Francisco because neither would be the full-time starter but it may not be a straight platoon. Francisco probably will be a better option since he is a left-handed batter and should see more of the playing time, which makes him valuable in deep mixed leagues. Both players should be options in National League-only leagues.
Mon, 18 Mar 2013 20:07:25 -0700
There are some lingering concerns about Atlanta Braves 3B Juan Francisco and his inability to consistently hit offspeed pitches and left-handed pitchers. However, he has homered in three of his past four spring games, strengthening his bid for the starting third base job to start the season. However, manager Fredi Gonzalez said Monday, March 18, that it is still too early to declare a winner in the battle with 3B Chris D. Johnson.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 17:27:21 -0700
The Atlanta Braves' third base competition between 3Bs Chris D. Johnson and Juan Francisco is too close to call statistically this spring. Francisco is 10-for-34 (.294) with two doubles, two home runs, five RBIs and a .529 slugging percentage in 12 games and Johnson is 11-for-35 (.314) with a double, two homers, six RBIs and a .514 slugging percentage in 13 games. The team hasn't indicated if one player has the edge over the other. "Because that makes it a hard decision for us," he said. "If one's hitting .400 and one's hitting .050 then it's an easy decision. If it's a competitive nature, it's going to be one of those meetings for five hours to come up with the best solution. But I don't see any downside – we can platoon them, or if somebody wins the job (outright) that means that guy is doing a good job…," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 06:32:34 -0800
Atlanta Braves OF Justin Upton, 2B Dan Uggla and 3B Chris D. Johnson are in camp early.
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 08:11:22 -0800
Atlanta Braves 3B Juan Francisco and 3B Chris D. Johnson will platoon at third base.