Power Surge Franco Joins T-Bones
KANSAS CITY, Kan.- The Kansas City T-Bones announced today that the club has signed 10-year minor league veteran infielder Carlos Franco for the 2019 season.
Carlos Franco joins the T-Bones after blasting 36 home runs combined over the last two seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization. The left-handed batting corner infielder spent the 2018 season with the AAA Gwinnett Stripers of the International League for Atlanta. In 119 games, he hit .249 (109-for-437) with 16 home runs and 76 RBIs- both totals led the club- all while playing 102 games at first base. Franco finished fourth in the International League in RBIs while his home run total was good to tie him for eighth place in the circuit. Franco was third in the club with 22 doubles and third for the team with 52 runs while reaching a .311 on-base percentage. His 109 hits were tied for second on the Stripers roster.
Franco split time between AAA and AA in 2017. He would combine to hit .252 (116-for-461) with 18 doubles, 21 home runs, 53 runs and 77 RBIs in 134 games at both Gwinnett and Mississippi. His 21 long balls tied him with Ronald Acuna for tops in the Braves system in 2017, and Franco would be named to the Braves Organizational All-Star Team by MiLB.com. In 93 games at AAA, his 77 runs knocked in also placed him second in the farm system to Acuna, who had 82.
Franco began 2017 at AA Mississippi, playing in 41 games and hitting .293 with 11 homers while driving in 38 runs in 41 games. The M-Braves named him Player-of-the-Month of April with 18 RBIs in 23 games. He also hit at an impressive .272 clip with four homers before being promoted to AAA on May 19th. When he left Mississippi, Franco was the Southern League leader in home runs, RBIs, and total bases. At AAA Gwinnett, Franco hit .232 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs in 93 games. Following the season, Franco played winter ball with Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League, where he batted .224 (15-for-67) with five doubles, one home run and nine RBIs in 33 games.
In 2016 Franco landed at AA for the first time and would bat .255 with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs in 121 games for the M-Braves in the Southern League. His 53 walks were good for fourth most in the Braves minor league system. Franco would have a banner playoff run, hitting .393 (11-for-28) with a home run and a team-high six RBIs in seven postseason games as the M-Braves advanced to the Southern League Championship Series.
Franco would spend the entire 2015 season with high A Carolina, setting a career-high in hits (117), doubles (30) and home runs (11). He would drive in 62 runs and once again find himself among the system leaders in several categories. He would finish first in doubles, second in walks (66), tied for third in RBIs and fourth in homers with 11. His 134 games led the Carolina League, and he would finish tops in the league doubles and walks.
In 2014, Franco spent his second complete season with low A Rome in the South Atlantic League. He would hit nine home runs in 123 games with 49 RBIs while hitting .255. Franco led the team in hits with 113 and would finish second in home runs and RBIs for the Braves. His August was red hot, hitting .330 with eight extra-base hits and 15 RBIs
over 27 games in the "dog days". In his first season with the Rome Braves, Franco was one of two R-Braves with 100-plus hits (104), finishing second on the club. He would hit .229 in 128 games with one round trip and 48 RBIs.
Franco spent the 2012 season in the short season A rookie level Danville in the Appalachian League. He would be named the Danville Player-of-the-Year after hitting .271 with 20 RBIs in 50 games in the "Appy" league. His month of July was a scorcher, hitting .303 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 21 games. Baseball American would take notice as the publication would name Franco the Braves 21st ranked prospect, and they would give him the accolade of having "the Best Infield Arm."
Franco played in 44 games at rookie-level Gulf Coast in 2011. He would hit .239 with a home run and 21 RBIs for the Braves. He made his US debut in 2010, playing 23 games with Gulf Coast and hitting .123 in 23 games with two homers and five RBIs. Franco would also play 37 games at rookie-level Dominican Summer League for the Braves organization. He would hit .218 with two home runs and 19 RBIs. His 2009 rookie season was spent in his native Dominican Republic in the Dominican Summer League. He would hit .181 in 31 games with one home run and five runs driven in.
Franco, 27, was born in Bani, Dominican Republic and was signed by the Atlanta Braves as a non-drafted free agent on
May 5, 2009. In his first six professional seasons, Franco played 444 games at third base and one at first. He has played 186 games at first base and another 122 at third base. He has not played third since 2017. Over his career, Franco is a .244 hitter with 70 home runs and 435 RBIs.
The 6'2'' Franco has spent parts of three spring trainings in Big League camp. In 17 games in the Grapefruit League, he has a .303 batting average with two home runs and seven RBIs. In 2018 Franco would play in 14 games in the Braves spring training, going 8-for-30 with a pair of long balls and five runs knocked in.
Full and half-season 2019 ticket packages as well as mini plans are on sale now online by calling (913) 328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke's Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale now. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday, May 17th at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones host the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to open the 2019 season.
For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the T-Bones Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to www.tbonesbaseball.com. and the T-Bones Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
2019 Offseason Roster
Position Name Hometown
RHP Robbie Gordon St. Louis, MO
OF Darnell Sweeney Miami, FL
IF Nick Basto Southwest Ranches, FL
OF Daniel Robertson West Covina, CA
RHP Dustin Hurlbutt Coffeyville, KS
INF Mason Davis Stone Mountain, GA
C Christian Correa Coconut Creek, FL
RHP Marcus Crescentini Tampa, FL
Utility Shawn O'Malley Southridge, WA
LHP Joe Filomeno Chicago, IL
RHP Jackson Lowery Little Rock, AR
IF Mikey Reynolds Glendale, AZ
RHP Tommy Collier Houston, TX
C Roy Morales Toa Alta, Puerto Rico
INF Ryan Brett Seattle, WA
RHP Dylan Baker Juneau, Alaska
OF Forrestt Allday Clearlake, TX
IF Dylan Tice Perkasie, PA
RHP Jesus Balaguer Havana, Cuba
RHP Marc Magliaro Monroe, NJ
RHP Corey Walter Wheeling, WV
LHP Eric Stout Glenn Ellyn, IL
RHP Adam Adkins Cedar Hill, TX
1B Casey Gillaspie Omaha, NE
IF Carlos Franco Bani, DR
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