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Maikel Franco | Third Baseman

Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Age / DOB:  (21) / 8/26/1992
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 180
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
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Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco went 3-for-8 with a double and a home run for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday.
Franco has nine hits in 17 plate appearances over his last three games, including two doubles, a triple, and a home run. After a brutal June, this could be the beginning of the hot streak that the Phillies were hoping to see in April. The Phillies are struggling to climb out of the basement, and calling up a hot Franco could be the spark they sorely need. Jul 6 - 9:41 AM

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Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco went 4-for-4 with four singles for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday.

After a brutal April during which he hit .172/.234/.253, Franco put up a solid .282/.358/.445 line in May. The wheels fell off again in June, as he hit .162/.196/.238. Unless Franco has an out-of-this-world July and August, he may stay in Triple-A for the rest of the season as the Phillies are firmly planted in last place in the NL East. He remains the club's third baseman of the future.
Jul 3 - 9:34 AM

Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco went 2-for-4 with a double on Monday, raising his season line to .216/.278/.340.

After hitting a solid .282/.358/.445 in May, Franco has hit .161/.188/.274 in 15 games in June. Going into the season, the expectation was that Franco would hit well enough for a promotion to Philadelphia by the middle of June, but with an OPS that barely cracks 600, there is no talk of a promotion. He still fits into the Phillies long term plans, but their front office cannot be thrilled with his performance in 2014.
Jun 17 - 9:12 AM

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said Tuesday that third base prospect Maikel Franco is "not really ready to be a big-leaguer yet."

"He’s just not playing good enough baseball yet," Amaro said. The GM noted over the weekend that the team was kicking around" the idea of promoting their top prospect, but it doesn't sound like they're ready to pull the trigger yet. Franco has rebounded after a slow start, but he's slumped a bit again of late, hitting .125 (3-for-24) in his last seven games.
Source: MLBlogs.com
May 27 - 8:58 PM

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said Sunday that the team is "kicking around" the idea of promoting third base prospect Maikel Franco.

Cody Asche (hamstring) went on the disabled list Sunday, so the club has an opening at third base. Franco has been out of the lineup at Triple-A Lehigh Valley the last couple days due to illness, but he should be available soon. The top prospect has rebounded after a really slow start and is batting .235/.312/.365 with four homers and 19 RBI over 44 games overall this season. He should be stashed in deeper mixed league formats.
May 25 - 1:29 PM

Phillies prospect 3B Maikel Franco went 1-for-3 with a solo home run on Monday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco, 21, struggled mightily during the first month of the season, as he posted a hugely disappointing .487 OPS with one home run and 18 strikeouts in 23 games. Since then, however, he's settled in nicely at the plate to bat .324/.422/.535 with six doubles, three home runs and an 11/11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18 May games. With Cody Asche mostly holding his own in the major leagues, the Phillies can afford to offer Franco additional seasoning at the Triple-A level before an inevitable promotion later in the season.
May 20 - 12:40 PM

Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco went 2-for-4 with a home run for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday.

The reports of Franco's prospect status slide were an exaggeration, as the Dominican slugger has been crushing the ball as of late, putting up a solid .333/.395/.564 line with three doubles and two home runs over his past nine games. He has not struck out in his past four games, and his season line is up to .222/.285/.349. He could be manning the hot corner at third base by mid-summer.
May 10 - 11:40 AM

Phillies prospect 3B Maikel Franco was 3-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBI Thursday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco, 21, is slowly overcoming his early-season struggles, as his multi-hit performance Thursday pushed his season batting line to .196/.253/.315 through 24 games. He also has five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI and a 19/6 strikeout-to-walk ratio during that span. In his last 10 games, Franco owns an .826 OPS with six extra-base hits and eight RBI. The Phillies have received minimal production from their third basemen this season, but they're unlikely to promote Franco until he shows more consistency at the plate.
May 2 - 12:45 PM

Phillies prospect 3B Maikel Franco connected for his first 2014 home run Thursday and was 3-for-4 for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco also doubled and scored two runs in the game. The 21-year-old appears to finally be heating up at the plate, as Thursday's multi-hit performance was his third in the last five games. Franco still has a ways to go in terms of righting the ship, as he's still batting .184/.253/.263 with four-extra base hits and a 17/6 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 20 games. However, given the Phillies' lack of production from the hot corner this season, Franco could be one hot streak away from receiving a promotion.
Apr 25 - 1:13 PM

Phillies prospect 3B Maikel Franco had his best game of the season Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco, 21, had gotten off to a brutal start at Lehigh Valley, so his multi-hit performance on Sunday was certainly encouraging. Through 16 games, he's batting .153/.231/.186 with two extra-base hits and a 15/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Franco put himself on the big-league radar last season by posting a .926 OPS with 36 doubles, 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 134 games between High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He's expected to take over at the hot corner for the Phillies later this season.
Apr 21 - 2:45 PM

Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco is hitting .098/.178/.122 through the first 11 games of the season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco's spring training struggles have carried into the regular season, as he has more strikeouts (ten) than hits (four) or walks (four). With Cody Asche hitting just .189/.286/.324, the third base job in Philadelphia is ripe for the taking, so if Franco can put together a few good weeks he could be exploiting the shallow left-center field gap at Citizens Bank Ballpark soon.
Apr 15 - 10:36 AM

Maikel Franco will open the 2014 season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco, 21, was viewed as a candidate to pry the third-base job away from Cody Asche this spring (and he also received some work at first base), but batted only .184/.225/.184 in 40 plate appearances. Franco turned in a monster breakout performance in 2013 at Double-A Reading, batting .320/.356/.569 with 36 doubles, 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 581 plate appearances, and is expected to reach the major leagues this year sometime around mid-season.
Apr 2 - 11:28 AM

Phillies reassigned INF Maikel Franco, OF Clete Thomas and RHP Sean O'Sullivan to minor league camp.

Franco, 21, entered camp with a chance to seize the team's starting job at the hot corner away from Cody Asche, but struggled to the tune of .184/.225/.184 in 40 plate appearances. He'll begin the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and should debut with the Phillies at some point during the upcoming season.
Mar 22 - 8:01 AM

Top prospect Maikel Franco went 0-for-4 on Thursday, dropping his spring average to .184.

Franco might have been able to overtake Cody Asche at third base with a big spring, but it just hasn't happened for the 21-year-old. It's probably for the best that he spend at least a couple of months in Triple-A anyway.
Mar 20 - 4:23 PM

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has been impressed with top prospect Maikel Franco's defense at third base.

There's been some talk that Franco might have to move over to first base, but it sounds like Sandberg is in the camp that believes he can handle third. "He’s looked real good at third base," Sandberg said. "He’s got a soft glove. He reacts to balls well. The tougher the play, the softer he gets, which for a 21-year-old guy is pretty amazing. And his arm is very good." Cody Asche will begin the season as the Phillies' starting third baseman, but Franco could take over at some point.
Mar 4 - 6:48 PM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Carlos Ruiz
2Wil Nieves
1B1Ryan Howard
2Darin Ruf
2B1Chase Utley
2Andres Blanco
SS1Jimmy Rollins
3B1Cody Asche
2Reid Brignac
LF1Domonic Brown
2John Mayberry
CF1Ben Revere
RF1Marlon Byrd
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Cliff Lee
2Cole Hamels
3A.J. Burnett
4Kyle Kendrick
5Roberto Hernandez
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Jonathan Papelbon
2Mike Adams
3Antonio Bastardo
4Jake Diekman
5Ken Giles
6Mario Hollands
7Justin De Fratus
8Phillippe Aumont