Wow, was it ever going to happen. During the regular season in the Florida State and Eastern Leagues the Phillies top position prospect Maikel Franco went deep 31 times in 134 games or homering an average of once every 4.3 games to lead the organization in home runs. Tonight in the Dominican Winter League in his 29th game there, Mike finally went yard for the first time in the DWL to give the Gigantes a 1-0 lead and an eventual 3-2 win.
Franco has been in the woes of an awful slump going 3 for 35 in his last ten games before breaking out with a 2 for 4 night in the win. He might be just a bit tired. Tonight’s game was his game No. 163 of the 2013 season plus the Florida State League All-Star game. The 21 year old has now played in more games than the 162 game major league regular season.
It was a treat for us to watch Franco the first half of this past season with the Clearwater Threshers where he hit 16 homers in 65 games. Just before he was called up to Reading he hit two, three runs homers and was in the finals of the Florida State League All Star game home run hitting contest. We went on to hit 15 more home runs with Reading.
Franco has struggled in his home country’s winter league this season Earlier in the season he was in the the top ten in batting average. But he was hitting mostly singles then and had completely run out of gas over the last ten games after being moved to first base. Still holding down first base in tonight’s game Mike is now back squaring up the ball at the plate.
He might have been motivated just a bit by a statement made by Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. several days ago in an interview with CSNPHILLY.COM when he said, “The Reveres, and the Browns, and the Asches or the Maikel Francos, whoever it might be playing third base, they’re young players who can help shape our club even though we have an older core, I do believe that those young players can help our older core and move us forward.”