Aug 2, 2013; Trenton, NJ, USA; Trenton Thunder third baseman Alex Rodriguez looks on during the national anthem before facing the Reading Fighting Phils at Arm

Maikel Franco Hits a Ton and Also is a First Baseman Now

Maikel Franco!  Look at him go.

That third baseman whose trip on the Phillies’ merry-go-round of position swapping to suit their needs ended at first base the other day is having a powerful season.  30 home runs now, he’s hit, between the total he started at Clearwater and the 14 he’s hit while in Reading.  Maybe we could even see

Well, fine, but maybe, um, he could, um.  Be a big leaguer right now and solve all of our problems.  Did you know he just turned 21?  On the night of his 30th dinger?  Good lord, Maikel Franco.  He also hits just as well against righties as he does lefties, for now.  Well, there was a 20 point difference, but they’re both respectable (.318 vs. RHP/.299 vs. LHP).  In the last seven days, he’s slugged four home runs and battered the Eastern League with a 1.246 OPS.

Look at that healthy, pulsating OPS.  Unless the Phillies are trying to hatch a first base plan for after Ryan Howard’s departure, who I guess we’re still pretending is the starting first baseman, then the move to first base is sort of a background gig. “It’s just to give him another position to go to,” assistant GM Benny Looper said.

So the Phillies are slowly monitoring some festering raw talent, and now shaping it to be more versatile, perhaps?  It smells a little better than the desperate “You’re an outfielder now” process that got Cesar Hernandez a CF tryout.  Franco isn’t a frantic speedster, so the organization seems to want him to be experienced at a position that doesn’t require it.  Why not give him a shot at this point, before millions of eyes are on him, demanding that he be perfect tomorrow.

Year Tm Lev G PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 2 Teams A+-AA 127 551 160 33 3 30 30 61 .313 .352 .566 .918
2013 Clearwater A+ 65 289 79 23 1 16 20 39 .299 .349 .576 .925
2013 Reading AA 62 262 81 10 2 14 10 22 .328 .355 .555 .910
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/27/2013.

Meanwhile, while you’re thinking about the future:

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