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Top Prospect Franco Promoted to Double-A Reading

Maikel Franco with Lakewood in 2012, photo- Jay Floyd
On the same day which Phillies second baseman Chase Utley joined the Double-A Reading Fightins to begin a rehab assignment, as he recovers from an oblique issue, the club added another big bat, as slugging third base prospect Maikel Franco was promoted from Class A Advanced Clearwater.

Through 65 games with the Threshers this season, Franco posted a .299 average with 16 home runs and 52 RBI.  His doubles total (23) was tops in the Florida State League, while his homer total was tied for the league lead.

Franco's manager with Clearwater, former big league third baseman Chris Truby has seen improvements in the youngster in just the few short months that he's managed him.

"Maikel has worked his tail off and improved his game in all areas," Truby stated.  "At the plate he has a better idea of the strike zone and is able to do impressive damage when he gets a pitch to hit. He is using the whole field and driving the ball to all fields."

Often regarded for his offensive prowess, Franco is highly skilled on defense as well.  Having excellent instincts along with a strong arm, the Dominican Republic native is developing into a total package prospect on the field.

"On defense he is just as impressive. He can make all the plays. He works extremely hard and is very motivated to reach the highest level. He is just an impressive all around talent that has the desire to get better," Truby added.

Look for Franco, who was ranked as the Phillies' 4th best prospect this year by PhilliesNation.com, to make his debut with Reading on Thursday, as Utley continues his rehab efforts and nears a return to the big club.

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