He exibits no empathy. The cold, heartless look of evil is upon his face. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Following in the footsteps of former Phillies Scott Rolen, and (particularly notable due to his lack of actual Phillies-ness), J.D. Drew, it seems Maikel Franco has managed to escape from the terrifying, depraved Hellscape that is the Philadelphia Phillies farm system.
Slipping through the back door of the Reading bullpen, it was reported that he was heard screaming cheers of boundless joy and exuberance while Joe Jordan was busy not implementing advanced scouting.
At least, that’s what I picture happens when a player wins MiLB’s Breakout Prospect of the Year Award, and I’m not going to fact check myself and make sure that’s the truth.
It was announced early yesterday that Maikel Franco had won the highest honor Minor League Baseball bestows upon a player they didn’t very much care for the year before (although in all seriousness, the article is a very in-depth, good read – check it out), recognizing the outstanding year he had in 134 games between A+ Clearwater and AA Reading.
He averaged a combined .320/.356/.569 in 2013, and lead the minor leagues with 307 total bases. He was one of only four 30/100 minor league players, destroying 31 home runs and batting in 103 runs. He also tied for second with 70 extra-base hits this year.
Perhaps the most awe-inspiring, hope-filling statistic from his season was that he produced 100% of those numbers from the right-handed side of the batters box. Can I get an Amen?!
Chosen by the staff of MiLB.com, Franco beat out fan choice Devon Travis of the Detroit Tigers for the honor. Fellow top prospect Jesse Biddle was supportive, but also couldn’t be bothered to know any numbers or statistics about his teammate:
"I think a lot of people were probably surprised with whatever his average was and how many home runs he hit. It’s all really impressive."
Franco’s development this season might be the most important thing to watch in the entire organization – he’ll compete in Spring Training, but likely begin the season at AAA Lehigh Valley, and if he continues the mashing he’s doing currently in Dominican Winter Ball, he should be in Philadelphia in no time.
That is, until all three of them are traded this offseason for a veteran who’s “crafty” and a “real leader in the clubhouse”, of course.