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Appalachian League Top 20 Prospects

By Bill Ballew
September 20, 2002

1. Jeff Francouer, of, Danville Braves
Atlanta scouting director Roy Clark was thrilled when the Braves lured Francouer away from a Clemson football scholarship (as a defensive back) in July. Not only because they signed a five-tool outfield prospect, but also because the first-rounder is a high-character player who has attracted comparisons to former National League MVP Dale Murphy on a variety of fronts.

"He is the best tools player in this league, bar none," Danville manager Ralph Henriquez said. "I'm big on makeup and this kid is off the charts. He knows he is going to play in the big leagues. Everything he does is centered on that achieving that goal."

Francoeur had no trouble adjusting to wood bats, driving the ball to all fields. He has outstanding instincts and is fearless pursuing fly balls and running the basepaths. He also possesses a plus arm and is capable of playing all three outfield positions.

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