Former Braves off to a hot start

Several former Atlanta players and prospects had a good first week of the season.

A couple of former Atlanta players are off to a hot start after the first week in the season.

Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeur had a rough Grapefruit League in Florida, hitting only .197 with two home runs and six runs batted in. Well, he equaled that production in the first week with the Mets, hitting two homers and driving in six runs. Francoeur had six walks, yes six walks in the first week, and his batting average is .476.

Kelly Johnson, Atlanta's starter at second base to start last season, had three home runs for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first week. Johnson also had four walks and is hitting .368 in 19 at bats. Johnson's teammate in Arizona, and former teammate in Atlanta Adam LaRoche, is off to his normal slow start in January, hitting only .227 in his first six games.

Adam Wainwright, who with Johnson and LaRoche were all part of the Braves famous 2000 draft class, won his first game for St. Louis. Wainwright allowed only two runs on three hits over seven innings to beat the Reds in Cincinnati.

And the Rangers announced that Neftali Feliz would replace Frank Francisco as the team's closer. Feliz was traded to Texas in the Mark Teixeira trade in July 2007. Francisco lost two games and blew two saves last week, giving up six runs in two innings. Feliz, on the other hand, struck out five batters in 2.1 innings.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Atlanta Baseball Show. Shanks writes a weekly column for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

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