Veteran infielder joins T-Bones

The Kansas City T-Bones have 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 was 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, 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-foot-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 played 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 online by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke’s Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday, May 17, at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones play host to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to open the 2019 season.

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