Thursday, January 16, 2014

with Phillies getting older, Franco could be huge

By SAMUEL BOTWINICK | Staff Writer
January 16. 2014, 5:00 p.m.
@avdbkr20samuel

With the lackluster offense that the Phillies have provided last year and are expected to provide this year, it makes sense that they are looking to change the future and not dwell in the present too long.

The change will happen sooner rather than later as they have already added their prize prospect, the young power-hitting third baseman, Maikel Franco, to their 40-Man roster, with an invitation to Spring Training.  There is, however, a large caveat.

According to Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com, Franco (if he makes the regular season roster) will play mostly play at first base.  He will also spend some time at third base as well.

With the recent decline of Ryan Howard due to injuries and age, there is a strong likelihood that he will be substituted for Howard to alleviate the stress on his knees and body in general.

Franco has shown some serious pop in the minors.  At only 21, he hit an astounding 31 home runs while playing in two levels of minor leagues.  The almost more impressive aspect of his game is that he's not just a pure power hitter.  He hit .339 in 69 AA games last year.

Also, while Cody Asche will be his primary competitor for the third base spot, Franco appears to have more power in his bat and to be a more polished hitter overall than Asche.  However, at the hot corner, one needs strong defense, and that is one area where Asche is better than Franco.

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news blog in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia-region.

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