Name: Maikel Franco
Height: 6′ 1″
Drafted: Signed as a nondrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in January 2010
Pre Draft Report: Franco was a relatively under the radar signing as a 17 year old old of the Dominican Republic ($100,000)
Career Synopsis: Franco made a rather nondescript debut in the GCL in 2010. He showed some power but he struggled making consistent contact. He put up a .222/.292/.330 line and wasn’t really talked about going into 2011. In 2011 the Phillies held him back in Extended Spring Training before sending him off to Williamsport. He was very impressive in the NYP, he more than held his own showing off the ability to drive the ball. He earned a promotion to LKW where he struggled greatly in his 66 PA he put up a .123/.149/.200 line. He then returned to Williamsport where he reurned to his previous pace. He was assigned to Lakewood to start 2012 where he struggled for the first two months of the season before coming on strong posting a .346/.395/.530 line over the second half. He showed the ability to hit for power and make contact, but his walk rate declined from its 2011 levels while his strikeout rate stayed relatively constant.
Hit: There has been a lot of debate about Maikel Franco’s ability to make consistent contact. The good news is that he has incredible hand eye coordination and great bat speed. The bad news is that he has a horrible approach and a hole against same side breaking balls, as well as a swing that has some noise and length to it. The end result is a player that can get to almost anything but struggles to make solid contact on many balls he makes contact with. If Franco can work on the approach and clean up the swing he has a chance to be a plus hitter, but until then the hit tool is more fringe average to average. 45/50
Power: Franco has big time raw power generated from wrist strength and his great bat speed. The power could play as high as plus plus, but he is going to need to make consistent contact for that to happen. If the hit tool improves he could be good for 35 HRs a year, if not it could really hurt his most valuable asset. 60/70
Speed: Franco is one of the slowest accelerating players in baseball. He has improved and is not horrible underway, but his speed is a liability in the field, at the plate, and on the bases. He might improve a little over the next few years, but long term he projects to be fairly immobile. 25/20
Glove: At third base Franco has soft hands and fairly good actions. His range is very suspect and limits the whole profile. Even with his other assets it is going to take a lot of work for Franco to maintain average defense at third base. The glove should play fine at first base, but it is too early to make that call. 40/50
Arm: Franco’s arm is his best defensive asset. He has at least plus arm strength and pretty good accuracy. He does limit his abilities somewhat by throwing from his hip rather than a more conventional throwing motion. The Phillies could clean it up a bit to help his overall 3B profile. 60
Summary: There is raw ability for Franco to be an offensive beast, and provide RH power in the middle of the order. Right now however there are some red flags on offense including the swing and approach. Franco is never going to be a high on base guy, but you hope that he can at least be selective in his contact and keep the strikeout rate down. Franco is never going to add much in the field and his long term home is likely 1B because of the body. The whole profile comes down to the bat which does have a chance to be special.
Maikel Franco’s Contact – Phuture Phillies