I’ve been way too supportive when it comes to third baseman Maikel Franco. I have had a soft spot for him since his 2015 season when I picked him up in fantasy baseball. For reference, in 2015 Franco hit .280 and showed off his power with 14 home runs. He was great for the young, rebuilding Phillies, and he was great for my fantasy team considering I picked him up for nothing.
Flash forward to 2017. With just about half the number of at-bats he had in 2015, Franco is hitting .221 and has hit six home runs. .221 seems way to high for the way he has been wildly swinging, but those are the stats.
He just isn’t showing much growth, and that is frustrating to watch. It instantly reminds me of the Domonic Brown situation.
Brown was an all-star in 2013. He looked like the future of the franchise with 27 home runs, but his next two years with the Phillies weren’t as promising. I defended him, saying, “It’s just an off year,” but the reality was that 2013 was an off year for him. His 2014 and 2015 numbers lined up better with the 2010-2012 numbers. The all-star year was an outlier.
Now, I am worried that I am doing the same with Franco. I want to believe that Franco has the skills to be the starting third baseman for a long time, but I’m starting to think that he won’t be as good as we thought he was.
The Phillies lost Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies 8-2 while Maikel Franco was sitting on the bench due to poor play. Pete Mackanin made the decision to bench him, and I can’t say that I disagree. It doesn’t seem to be a slump or something that Franco can work out of. He needs to clear his head and consider a better approach at the plate.
Do I think Franco can get it together and become the promising young player we thought he was in 2013? I don’t know, but every day that Franco swings at disgusting pitches outside the zone, I lose more and more confidence in him.
In the beginning of the season, I thought third base was a lock, but I’m not feeling so sure anymore. Franco needs to figure it out, and fast, or he might be headed for a minor-league team with a locker next to Domonic Brown.