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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: MAIKEL FRANCO 3B PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Sometimes you just got to take a firm stand on a player now matter how many in the fantasy baseball community may disagree.  For yours truly, Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco has been a guy I have been fully on board and a supporter of going back to his minor league days and into his initial foray into the majors.  There have been some bumps and ups-and-downs along the way but my confidence in Franco's ability has never wavered as I reiterated in this year's Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and throughout posts here on the site.  I did take some grief last year regarding Franco when he batted just .255 but instead I chose to focus on the 25 home runs he hit at the age of 23.  Fast forward to present day and Franco just got done smacking his third home run of spring training (one an inside-the-park job) in showing a bat that is as scorching as any in baseball not named Michael Conforto.  Also just like with Conforto, I believe in the ability no matter how many slump each guy endured in 2016.

Now in terms of Franco and the notion that he was a disappointment last season, some realism is needed.  The first issue is the fact that Franco's .255 average should have been better as his .271 BABIP was quite unlucky.  Consider that the year prior as a rookie, Franco's BABIP was a neutral .297 and he batted .280.  In addition, Franco's rate numbers are all terrific for a young hitter as his 16.8 K/9 rate was excellent and his 6.3 BB/9 rate was not terrible by any means.  It stands to reason that with better BABIP luck and his very good strikeout rate, Franco could hit .280 or better this season.  Then there is the power which is pointing itself toward the 30 mark this season as Franco has the hulking frame to be that type of slugger.  With everyone talking about the top tier guys, Franco is getting lost in the shuffle a bit and his ADP of 140 is ridiculously cheap.  I am all-in on Franco this season and it would behoove your to do so also.


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