This weekend, Phillies Nation was granted VIP Access to Sports Vault’s All Access program at the Philadelphia Sports Card Show and Convention. There, we were able to speak to a number of the guests which included many Phillies, past and present. For the next week, please check out our exclusive interviews and give our friends at Sports Vault a click for the best sports memorabilia and upcoming autograph signings!
Ian Riccaboni, PN: What was it like for you to reach the Major Leagues this year after being so successful in the minor leagues?
Maikel Franco, third baseman, Philadelphia Phillies: You know, it was awesome because it was my dream, it was my goal. I work hard and hope to see my success. I am just happy, excited to be a part of the Phillies.
IR: Is there any pressure being one of the younger players and being known as one of the top prospects in baseball?
MF: I mean, it’s kind of like starting over. You are a star in the minor leagues only because everyone says so. When you get here, you get a new number and start over. You have to show (you can play) everyday. I just keep working hard and everything and try to stay focused to try to stay in the Major Leagues.
IR: Is or was there any player that you looked up to before becoming a Major Leaguer or anyone you hope to emulate in the Major Leagues?
MF: Adrian Beltre. Adrian Beltre is my favorite player and I decided to watch him as much as I could in the Big Leagues and everything. He is my favorite player.
MF: I mean, for me, it is wonderful and unreal because I remember, three, five years ago I remember seeing them playing in the Big Leagues, watching from home in my country. Now, I’m here to just play the game and it’s awesome (to play with them).
IR: There’s a few guys like David Buchanan who you’ve played with in the minors; what is it like to make it to the Major Leagues with players you’ve played with in the minor leagues?
MF: It made me feel comfortable and kinda like calmed down. It’s a little bit different; when you have a good friend in the minor leagues and you see them in the Major Leagues, you can relax.
IR: What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make from the minor leagues to the Majors?
MF: Staying strong (through the season), keep working hard knowing that whatever I did in the minor leagues I have to do in the big leagues. Put in my mind to be strong and to be ready to go.