Giants designate Francoeur for assignment

Designated for assignment for the second time this season, Jeff Francoeur’s once-heralded career is at a crossroads.

The San Francisco Giants gave the former Parkview two-sport superstar and Atlanta Braves rookie sensation a chance to get back on track at the plate, but he couldn’t take advantage of it.

Francoeur batted just .194 with no homers and four RBIs in 24 games with the Giants, who signed him after he was released by the Kansas City Royals.

Now the 29-year-old outfielder is in limbo again after being dropped by San Francisco and faces the likelihood of having to sign a minor league deal in the offseason as a free agent with an invitation to spring training.

It has been quite a fall for Francoeur, who landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated after a dramatic debut with the hometown Braves in 2005 and averaged 24 homers with 104 RBIs over his next two seasons, winning a Gold Glove in 2007.

Francoeur has been with four teams since and has struggled to find consistency at the plate despite some encouraging seasons, including hitting .285 with 47 doubles and 20 homers for the Royals in 2011.

That earned him a two-year contract worth $13.5 million, but he slumped last season and never got untracked this year, hitting .208 with Kansas City before being dropped.

Francoeur, who played in the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers, has a .263 career average with 140 homers and 618 RBIs in 1,227 games over nine seasons.