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May 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Juan Francisco (47) gets set to bat against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Juan Francisco worth picking up

At this point of the fantasy baseball season, MLB teams are trying to create at bats for some of their hot hitters that don’t necessarily have a position.

You should keep an eye on some of these situations, most notably with the Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Juan Francisco.

May 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman makes a throw to first for an out Juan Francisco (47) in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco has slashed .311/.403/.623 with five homers over 72 plate appearances so far in 2014.

The veteran journeyman obviously won’t be able to keep the AVG and OBP for a long stretch of time, given the fact that his career numbers are .248 and .308 respectively. He is also posting up a .389 BABIP, which will eventually start trending downward.

But Francisco’s power is legit.

He hit 18 HR in 385 PAs split between Atlanta and Milwaukee last season and boasts a career .199 ISO.

Francisco is a player I would recommend to add in the short-term if you need a boost in the power categories.

However there is a chance that he could be around for the long haul.

Francisco has improved his plate discipline slightly. His K-rate has dropped from 35.8 percent in 2013 to 29.2 percent this year. That’s still awful but when you consider the fact that his walk rate has increased from 8.3 percent last season to 12.5 percent this year, the Blue Jays may be forced to keep his bat in the lineup if he can maintain those improvements.

The negative is that once both Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie are completely healthy, Francisco will be without a spot to play.

However there has been talk out of Toronto of moving Lawrie to second base, which could free up a spot for Francisco at third.

Keep an eye on that situation as if Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons seems committed to getting Francisco regular at bats, he could be worth grabbing.

Tags: Fantasy Baseball Juan Francisco Toronto Blue Jays

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