Skip to main content

Prospect Nation 2013: #4 3B Maikel Franco

Powerful Dominican third baseman Maikel Franco has shown great progress during his time as a pro.  A highly touted player, Franco is an individual that Phils fans should be getting excited about as he climbs the developmental ladder.

Signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies in 2010 at the age of 17, Franco would make his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies that same year.  He posted respectable numbers for his age, with a line of.222/.292/.330 in 51 games.

A year later, the righty hitting Franco began the season in extended spring training and later competed with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters.  Franco looked great against New York-Penn League competition, posting two home runs, 28 RBI and a .274/.339/.389 line in 42 games before earning a promotion to Class A Lakewood.

In the South Atlantic League, at the age of 18, the baby-faced Franco struggled quite a bit. In 17 contests for the BlueClaws, Franco went 8-for-67 (.123 avg) and racked up an awful .349 OPS. The Phillies realized Franco was over-matched and that he was growing discouraged, so he was re-assigned back to Williamsport, where he finished the season by batting .333 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI over his final 13 games with the Crosscutters.

During his 2012 campaign back in Lakewood, the 6-foot-1 185-pounder showed much improvement and displayed considerable power throughout the season.  Franco began the season at somewhat of a slow pace, batting just .207 with six homers, 27 RBI and a .607 OPS before he heated things up after the South Atlantic League All-Star break.  In the second half of the season, Franco really showed what he can do, tallying a .346 average with eight home runs, 57 RBI, which were tops in the league during that stretch, and a .925 OPS.

Franco can drive the ball to all fields and has the highest offensive ceiling of any player on this year's countdown.  Trust in his hands, a firm routine and solid concentration helped the Azua native a great amount, according to Lakewood hitting coach Greg Legg.  Maturing as a player and the realization that utilizing all of his resources and his downtime to the fullest are things that certainly also helped Franco excel last year and will continue to be key for him, if he is to maximize his potential. 

Speed is not a facet of Franco's game, as he has just three stolen bases in his three pro seasons.

Defensively, Franco is outstanding, displaying a strong arm, excellent reflexes and great glove work at the hot corner.  Franco moves well to both sides, displaying very good range in the field.

Overall, Franco has an excellent makeup and projects to be a very good third baseman at the highest levels of the game.  Look for the youngster to begin the 2013 season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, where he'll play under former big league third baseman Chris Truby, who manages the Threshers.  If Franco continues to progress at a similar pace to what he showed last season, seeing time at the Double-A level this year may not be out of the question, although considering his age, the Phils are likely to have him endure a full season in the Florida State League.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f