Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, March 20, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 8
Since he arrived in North America, third baseman Maikel Franco has put his skills with the bat on display. An outstanding offensive campaign last year made him the buzz name in the Phillies’ organization and has landed him in the top spot among the club’s promising crop of upcoming prospects.
Signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies in 2010, Franco would make his professional debut with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies that same year. As a 17-year-old, he posted respectable numbers, 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 Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. Franco looked great against New York-Penn League competition, posting a .274/.339/.389 line while driving in 28 runs 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. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #1 3B Maikel Franco