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Prospect Watch: Third Baseman Maikel Franco

July 9th, 2014 at 5:06 PM
By Andrew Waltz

In light of general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s interesting comment’s to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, Philadelphia Phillies fans might be seeing some new prospects getting some playing time at the major league level before the end of the season. Amaro said, “I didn’t anticipate our guys being this poor. Because they are. They are this poor. We think that they’re better. But they haven’t shown it. So at some point we’re going to have to make some changes.”

Maikel Franco from Flickr via Wylio? 2013 slgckgc, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Salisbury continued by noting that Amaro listed Darin Ruf, Grady Sizemore, Freddy Galvis and top prospect Maikel Franco as possible players to be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. When he referred to Franco, Amaro noted that he can also play first base. That would be bad news for the struggling Ryan Howard.

In the coming weeks, Phillies101 will preview some of the Phillies’ top prospects. Amaro set up the first preview nicely. Here is a short look at Maikel Franco.

Franco is the current third baseman for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He throws and bats right handed. Since 2011, Franco has been hitting the leather off the ball and making steady progress through the farm system.

Year

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

2011

267

25

66

19

1

3

44

26

45

.247

.318

.360

.677

2012

503

70

141

32

3

14

84

38

80

.280

.336

.439

.775

2013

541

89

173

36

3

31

103

30

70

.320

.356

.569

.926

2014

330

37

76

19

3

6

38

23

55

.230

.283

.361

.644

 

Franco will turn 22 in August and his power should continue to develop as he matures. The Phillies have given him some time at first base this season, for now obvious reasons. Franco lacks speed, but makes up for it with his above-average arm. Franco is rated as the third best third base prospect in baseball and the 22nd highest ranked prospect overall.

Many believe that Cody Asche will continue to develop in to the every day third baseman for the Phils over the next several seasons, leaving the door wide open for a position change for Franco. With Ryan Howard continuing to struggle and Darin Ruf seemingly not panning out, don’t be surprised if you see Franco getting some starts at first base shortly after the All-Star break. 

Tags: Baseball, MLB, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Phillies

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