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Jeff Francoeur is a veteran Major League Baseball player and an extraordinary example of hard work, passion, and persistence. The son of two teachers, Jeff was born and raised just outside Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up he was a witness to the powerful early-nineties Braves with legends Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux. He rarely missed a game and dreamed of one day playing for the team himself. A gifted athlete, Francoeur excelled at both baseball and football and to those around him, a career in the majors didn't seem that unlikely.
In 2002, his dream came true when he was selected by the Braves in the first round of the June 2002 amateur draft. Already committed to Clemson University, he gave up a football scholarship and a college education to play baseball. He soon joined the minors and by 2004, Jeff was named a top prospect in the Braves Organization by Baseball America. Jeff, a hometown boy, quickly became a fan favorite and an asset to the team.
In just his first season with the Braves, Jeff graced the cover of Sports illustrated in 2005 dubbed "The Natural". Jeff also played in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 for Team USA alongside Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Roger HIGHLIGHTS Clemens, and Ken Griffey Jr. Along with a strong bat, he was also recognized for his powerful arm and defensive talent, earning him his first career Gold Glove in 2007. In his first three seasons (2005-2007) Jeff was 2nd only to lchiro in Games Played and was in the top 5 for Hits, HR, & RBI among all MLB Right Fielders.
In 2008, things started to take a turn. After a terrible hitting slump, Jeff was called back down to the minors to work with his old hitting coach. He ended the 2008 season with a .234 batting average and by 2009 was traded to the New York Mets. His batting became more consistent while in New York, but Jeff found himself on the bench after he was replaced in the outfield by Angel Pagan. Despite multiple trades and declining numbers, Francoeur never lost his passion or love of the game. Known for his great attitude and positivity, he kept at it, and took his time on the bench to mentor and encourage his teammates and improve his batting. Jeff pushed through the adversity and was given another chance to prove himself as he helped lead the Texas Rangers to the World Series in 2010 and led all MLB outfielders in Doubles in 2011. In 2015 embracing his new role as mentor and role player Jeff was 2nd in OPS (.889) among all M LB players as a SUB (50pa) and 6th in OPS (.922) as a Pinch Hitter (30pa).
In 2016, his numbers began to decline again and it would have been easy for him to walk away from baseball forever. Instead, he agreed to go back to the minors to find a resurgence to his game. He had a good season there and it looked as though he was turning a corner, but he was released by the team that September.
In 2017, Francoeur announced his retirement from the MLB and he became a commentator for the Atlanta Braves. In 2018, the Braves announced that Jeff would replace Joe Simpson as their lead television analyst. In 2019, Francoeur was hired by TBS to work as an analyst for the network's National League Wild Card Game and National League Championship Series. Francoeur is currently the lead television analyst for the Atlanta Braves game. He lives in the Atlanta area with his wife Catie and their four children.
In his motivating presentations, Jeff Francoeur doesn't shy away from the highs and lows of his career. Speaking with candor and humility, he encourages anyone going through a "slump" of their own to channel their passion, work hard and just keep going. He speaks on teamwork and the importance in recognizing that whether you are the star or the guy on the bench, you have a role to play.
Driving it Home: Passion and Persistence
Few people possess the drive and passion that Jeff Francoeur brought to the field each day of his MLB career. His ability to embrace failure, power through his struggles and remain dedicated to his passion for the game is something that anyone, regardless of industry, can learn from. Sharing personal stories from both on and off the field, Francoeur emphasizes the importance of teamwork and encourages audiences to work hard and keep going, no matter what stand in their way.
Giving Back to Our Communities
A journalist recently wrote that Jeff Francoeur should get the first vote into the "Good Guy Hall of Fame”. Giving back has always been a priority for Jeff who actively supports the Children's Hospital of Atlanta. Jeff would be a perfect fit for fundraisers and galas, Francoeur shares how service and paying it forward have transformed his life and encourages audiences to give back to their own communities.
Without God, I Would Have Never Gotten Up to Bat
One of the things that is near and dear to Jeff's heart is his strong faith in God. Even though playing sports Is a huge part or his life, Jeff realized at a young age that it is God who gave him his talent and athletic abilities. Through the ups and downs of his 16-year professional baseball career, Jeff's deeply rooted faith has proven to be his mainstay. Looking back, it is evident God’s hand has been in every part or his career; moreover his life. Now entering a new chapter in his journey. Jeff is excited to see where God is leading him and his family for the glory of the Lord.
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