At 8:00 PM last night, the Tampa Bay Rays called up the #1 prospect in baseball as a result of their 6 game losing streak. Wander has been the #1 prospect since 2019 and top 15 since 2018. Everybody has been preparing for this callup ever since they traded away Willy Adames in the early stages of the season. Currently Wander in AAA is batting .315 with 7 HR, 35 RBI, an OBP of .367, slugging .586, and a 155 wRC+. Those numbers are really eye popping and show why Franco has been the #1 prospect for so long. The switch hitting Domincan according to MLB.com has a perfect 80/80 hitting grade which has only been accomplished by few. His power grade is above average at 60, his running ability at 55, fielding 50, and arm at 55 which gives him a prospect rating of 70. He’s in the same company with Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Fernando Tatis Jr, Byron Buxton, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant and many more. I’d say those are some good names to be in the same range as, wouldn’t you say? He’s gonna be a Day 1 impact player for the Rays and as a Yankee fan I’m pretty scared for what this kid is gonna bring to Tampa for the next 10+ years. We’re gonna end off this piece by giving you what MLB.com thinks about Franco and his tools.
“Franco has the physical tools and natural ability needed to become the top switch-hitter of his generation. He creates electric bat speed with his exceptionally strong hands and wrists, and he knows how to manipulate his swing to put barrel to ball and make consistent hard contact to all fields. Franco’s approach and plate discipline are just as advanced as his swing. He tallied more walks (83) than strikeouts (54) while posting a .336 average during his first two seasons and recorded an elite swinging-strike rate (4.3%) in 2019. Franco’s plus raw power during batting practice should start to emerge in games once he learns to hit the ball in the air consistently. He shows more over-the-fence potential as a left-handed hitter, having hit all but two of his 20 career home runs from that side.” “Top 100 Baseball Prospects.” MLB.Com, https://www.mlb.com/prospects/top100/wander-franco-677551. Accessed 21 June 2021.
“Franco’s strong, compact build, as well as his being only a slightly above-average runner, have prompted questions about his ability to stick at shortstop long term. Still, he’s passed every test early in his career, showing an advanced feel for playing the position and plenty of arm strength. He could be an even better defensive player with a move to third or second base, both of which he saw time at while at the Rays’ alternate site to glowing reviews. The Rays continued to have him work around the infield during Spring Training, even giving him one start at the hot corner, specifically to create additional paths to playing time. That versatility will only create more avenues to the Major Leagues for Franco, whose dynamic bat has him poised to impact the Rays’ roster in 2021 and beyond.” “Top 100 Baseball Prospects.” MLB.Com, https://www.mlb.com/prospects/top100/wander-franco-677551. Accessed 21 June 2021.