Phillies 3B Maikel Franco is quietly turning things around, but what does his future hold?

We need to sign Mike Moustakas this offseason! No! Scott Kingery or JP Crawford are the answer! We have money, wait for Manny Machado! He’s the star we truly need! (in a softer voice) Bryce Harper can play third, right? Ladies! Gentlemen! You’re overlooking the obvious.

(group “huh?!”)

Maikel Franco is our third basemen and he’s not as bad as you think!

Angry crowd: YOU’RE INSANE! HE PEAKED AT YANKEE STADIUM! All He Does Is Hit Into Double Plays!

Wow. OK. Well, I didn’t realize this was such a hot take. It seems there’s a lot that’s needed to convince you on this one. Alright, here goes nothing.

He’s barely 25 years old.

That’s right and he just turned 25 on August 26th. Many players aren’t even in their prime at age 25. Take another 3rd baseman for example.

This certain player only saw his first Major League at bats at age 24 and didn’t see full playing time until age 26. Even then, he was sent down in the middle of June and didn’t see constant playing time again until August. In 47 games since coming back from the minors, he ran with his opportunity.

He hit .290 with an .844 OPS, hitting 8 HRs and driving in 28 baserunners. His next season, he won the starting job at 3rd base. He came 4th in the MVP race with a triple dash line of .301/.384/.499. That player was A’s player, now Blue Jays’ star, Josh Donaldson. The former MVP and 3x All-Star didn’t break out until his age 27 season. That’s 2 years older than Mikael Franco.

If that isn’t a reason to be even slight patient, then Bob’s your uncle.

Wait, you want more?

 

His Batting Average has risen from .222 to .231 in the last 16 games.

Now that doesn’t seem like much because Franco had 508 at bats on the season before the last 16 games. The last 50 at bats in those last 16 games look like just a drop in a bucket in the context of the entire season.

He has still been impressive over the past 16 games. He’s hitting .320 with a .540 slugging. His 3 HRs have brought his total to 21 on the season, one behind team leader Tommy Joseph.

Even if the Phillies next 3rd base target is Manny Machado, there is still another season until Machado becomes available. That means that Franco will have one more shot at becoming the Phillies’ franchise 3rd baseman.

 

He’s not perfect, he has problems.

I thought I was the only one who got to come up with bold print. Whatever. Yes, he isn’t perfect. No by a long stretch.

He does have the third lowest OBP out of 148 qualified hitters, sitting at .283. That’s bad. REALLY Bad. But players can change and at 25 years old Franco still has a chance.

Lest we forget Brandon Moss, who only had 6 ABs with the 2011 Phillies. He was 27 years old at the time. In his age 28-30 year old seasons with the A’s, Moss hit 76 HRs with 220 RBIs and an .844 OPS, plus an All-Star Game appearance to boot.

Franco will have at least one more half season to convince the Phillies that he is the one.

 

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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