The Reds acquired RHP JJ Hoover for Juan Francisco today in a deal with the Atlanta Braves.

Scouting Reports on Hoover have been all over the place on the internet, but here is the best that I have been able to find from what I consider reliable sources:

Scouting Report

He throws a fastball that works in the low 90’s and mixes in a curveball, sliver and a change up that are all considered average or a little better. Some believe that he can be a #4 starter, but others think he is a bullpen arm.

Pitch F/X

This data is only available from one game for Hoover in 2011 from the Arizona Fall League, but gives us an idea of his stuff.

Fastball – lowest was 92.5 and highest was 94-2 MPH

Slider – lowest was 79.4 and the highest was 81.4 MPH

He didn’t us any other pitches during the game on that day.

Statistically Speaking

Hoover has had strong stats in the minor leagues, posting a career 3.14 ERA in 401 career innings for the Braves with 425 strikeouts and 121 walks over that time frame. He had been used as a starter until the 2011 season in which he spent more time in the bullpen than from the rotation. The one thing that could be a concern is that he has been an extreme fly ball pitcher for his minor league career, posting a groundball rate under 30% over the last two seasons. In GABP, that could be a problem.


I can’t imagine the Reds having him in their future rotation given what they have, so my best guess is that they are also viewing him as a bullpen arm. Francisco clearly has the higher upside of the two players, but he is also a guy who has a very debatable floor given his propensity to avoid walks and strikeout. Hoover is the much safer bet of the two given that he should be at least a serviceable bullpen arm in the future.

J.J. Hoover is also on twitter, so give him a follow @JJ_Hoover.


37 Responses

  1. Patrick

    Looks like a decent swap. Reds get a guy they can option for who a lot of people think would never really be much more than a platoon/bench bat.

    Hoover seems like a Mike Leake type of pitcher but with a little bit better fastball.

    • Tony

      And the door is open for… Todd Frazier? Chris Valaika? Surely Soto won’t backup Rolen?

      • Doug Gray

        It has to be Frazier, they already sent Valaika to the minors.

      • Patrick

        Or its willie harris since hes now their only left handed bat other than Votto, Bruce. I’m half kidding …

  2. Scott from upstate NY has Hoover ranked as the Braves’ #13 prospect. I just hope the Reds traded away a Willie Mo Pena type and not a Paul Konerko type. Time will tell. I read one Braves blog article that said the Braves were clearing a “logjam of pitching prospects”. Must be nice.

    On paper I’m okay with the deal.

    • Doug Gray

      Given that Konerko walks nearly as much as he strikes out, I doubt Francisco becomes anything resembling him.

  3. Alan Horn

    The Braves have always fleeced the Reds in past trades. It won’t be all bad for me since the Braves are my second favorite team. That being said,
    Frazier had clearly moved ahead of Francisco. The down side is the lack of LH hiiting on the bench. There could be other moves with Bailey or one of the other starters. Chapman has pitched well and deserves to stick with the Reds as a starter. I think Frazier will caddy Rolen now and play in LF and 1B also. Arguably, our top three upper level hitting prospects are all gone now. Alonso, Francisco and Grandal.

    • Doug Gray

      Different people running and working in the organization now than in the past too…. so their ‘fleecing’ of us doesn’t matter much.

  4. DaveCT

    Well Hoover does exists, as do the Braves (had to check). And Juan was not traded for David Wright. So that is a pretty good start :).

    BA has Hoover rated with the best slider in the Atlanta system. Also said to be very aggressive as a reliever. He is said to have a burly body that appears topped out. I wonder if GM’s think about trading wide bodies for each other. Can’t wait to see what JJCooper says about JJHoover.

    So, seems like decent insurance for Massett and the ripple effect of losing Madsen. Not mention how the Bailey/Chapman situation plays out.

    Doug, anyone, help me out …the pen is now … what?

    Arredondo (for Massett)

    and who… 3 of the following?

    Bailey or Chapman (or apparently Leake)

  5. IndyRedsFan

    I see one more trade coming….an “excess starter” for a left handed bat.

    • DaveCT

      We also still have 2-3 RH bats on the bench for OF, if Cairo and Valdez both make the team in the infield.

      The logjam is in LF with Heisey, Ludwick and apparently Frazier as next in line passing Francisco. Perhaps this means they are keeping Harris until the RH situation shakes out. Still wondering if Heisey’s swing is still a mess.

      • Jon Ryker

        I would think this would allow them to trade Heisey for a LH bat…

  6. The Duke

    The fact that we got any value whatsoever for Francisco is a massive win for me. I wouldn’t pigeon hole in in the bullpen yet. The Reds need decent swing starters throughout the season who won’t be a batting tee, and Hoover sounds like he fits that mold. Lecure is pretty much all pen now, Maloney is gone, you need guys like that. And who knows, maybe he gets a shot and runs with it, wouldn’t be the first time it has happened.

    • DaveCT

      Agreed — Francisco would have never passed thru waivers upon being passed by Frazier.

      As a basic trade of a player out of options, its a very nice move.

      Best hope for Juan is he takes this to heart and makes the effort to fix his approach.

      • Dan

        Take what to heart?

        –Juan has massive power.

        –He just got traded for a AAA pitcher who’s pretty good (#13 prospect of Braves).

        –He’s on a good team now w/ a 40-year-old retiring third baseman who just had knee surgery.

        I bet Francisco is pumped. And he should be. I wish him well.

        Still, I like the trade. I like Frazier, so this seems like a good, solid commitment to him. Happy to see that.

        And when you can add a solid pitcher w/ a very good K/BB ratio to the system, that’s always a plus.

        Good move in my book.

      • MK

        I agree with you Dan. He plays third until Chipper is back and then caddy’s for him while getting his turn next year. I hate to lose him but I wish him the best.

      • Alan Horn

        The trade is very good for Francisco. He will get a better chance with the Braves. The jury is still out on what he will turn out to be. The Braves aren’t know for getting rid of good players, but they do have an excess of pitching. Time will tell on what we got in return as well.

      • DaveCT

        Takes to heart that his approach sucks. And he has been given a few years to improve. And he refuses to walk. And until he accepts this or develops the skill or ability he will be a 25th man and no more.

  7. Jim delaney

    The first move has happened I am expecting another move soon to solve the starting rotation logjam, love the aggressiveness from jocketty, the reds and dusty will succeed with the roster jocketty wants. Love the trade, go Reds!

    • Doug Gray

      Unless the trade is of Arroyo, I hope they don’t make a rotation trade to solve the logjam.

  8. MK

    I’m not sure this insures Fraizer a spot although I hope it does. Willie Harris is a Dusty type player and he is the only option right now as a left-handed hitter off of the bench and he is still hanging around.

    They got rid of Judy to free up an extra roster spot because they said they would need it. 2-spots: Harris and Francis?

  9. Scott from upstate NY

    Hold the presses! Is that Yardbarker report on the side bar that Joey Votto has his own cereal, Votto’s, for real? Has anyone tried it?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think it is actually out yet, but should be within a week.

      • Doug Gray

        Well there we go. Go out and buy them…. and be sure to buy multiple boxes so you can both eat some and keep one box sealed.

  10. Scott from upstate NY

    Not sure if MLBnetwork is consistent nationwide, but the Reds-Whitesox game is scheduled to be telecast Sunday(today) at 4pm in my neck of the woods.

    • Doug Gray

      Supposed to be on… but we will join it around the 3rd inning if things go as normal on MLBN.

      • Scott from upstate NY

        Yup – tease – they have the top 9 switch hitters “prime 9” on instead. Listening to Marty in the mean time.

      • Scott from upstate NY

        Coverage is on now 4:45 delayed a little starting with Lutz’ double. Mez running the bases for a three bagger!

  11. MK

    Started on time if you have Direct TV Sports package and the Comcast SportsNet, which I do.

  12. MK

    According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution the Braves have been trying to get Juan for a while.:

    Wren said the Braves had talked since the Winter Meetings with the Reds about Francisco, who was blocked in Cincinnati by veteran third baseman Scott Rolen and first baseman Joey Votto.

    “This was one of the things that was on the front burner for us really since the beginning of spring training,” Wren said. “We inquired and thought we were making progress towards a deal back at the winter meetings for him, and they decided to hold on through spring training and just see how their club came together.”

    Discusses Hoover as well.

  13. Krozley

    It appears the Bakersfield roster is up on It says it may not be final, but it appears logical. No Juan Duran, however. Is he hurt?

    • Doug Gray

      The roster does add up. Haven’t gotten an email from the Blaze with their roster though, so perhaps it just isn’t complete. Though it does seem more likely that Duran is not ready to begin the season.

  14. Krozley

    With Francis going to AAA, it seems Chapman will start the season in Cincinnati. They would then need another reliever, probably from someone not currently on the 40 man (Webb?). Then will the last spot go to Frazier (deserving) or Harris (because he hits left handed)?

  15. -;;-;-;-;-;-

    Where do you find Gb rates for minor leaguers?