To the surprise of no one, Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco was named the organization’s Minor League Player of the Month for June.
Franco, promoted from Single A Clearwater to Double A Reading on June 19, hit .404 in the month with 10 homers, 26 RBIs, three doubles, two triples and 21 runs in 25 games. His OPS was 1.217.
Franco’s development this season has turned heads across baseball. In its midseason prospect list Baseball Prospectus ranked the third baseman 42nd overall in the minors, after not listing him at all prior to the season.
In 345 plate appearances in 2013, Franco has hit .320/.362/.602 with 20 homers, 63 RBIs, 24 doubles and three triples. He’s struck out just 41 times, or once every 12 plate appearances.
Just 20 years old, Franco has a bright future and is rising fast through the Phillies’ system. After years of failing to develop a major-league caliber third baseman, the Phils now have two who could soon produce at the position in the majors. Cody Asche is hitting .284 with a .797 OPS at Triple A Lehigh Valley, after batting .324 across two levels last season.
The progress of Franco and Asche comes at the perfect time, as the Phillies’ infield is aging and the contracts for Chase Utley and Michael Young expire at season’s end.
Pair of All-Stars for the 'Pigs
Asche and second baseman Cesar Hernandez also had an enjoyable Tuesday, as both were named to the 2013 International League All-Star team.
Hernandez has hit .308 with 26 steals and seven triples for Lehigh Valley this season. He had a brief stint with the Phillies when Utley was out, and hit .250 with a double and an RBI in 28 plate appearances.