With a record of 26-48 and sitting 14.5 games behind the first place Nationals in the N.L East race, the Phillies haven’t had much to cheer about this year. Luckily for Phillies fans, the emergence of Maikel Franco has made watching the games somewhat bearable. Going into the upcoming series against the Nationals, Franco is hitting .311, 10 HRs, and 29 RBIs. In the first two games against the Bronx Bombers, Franco put up a total of 10 RBIs, becoming the first Phillies hitter with 5+ RBIs in consecutive games.
Even though he has only played 38 games with the Phillies so far, the offensive hot streak along with his amazing defensive plays have launched Franco into the All-Star Game and even the Rookie of the Year discussion.
Franco’s hot month of June has been compared mostly to the month of May that Dom Brown had back when he was voted into the mid-summer classic back in 2013. Brown was also named N.L Player of the Month when he hit 12 home runs during that time. One thing that Franco has done that Brown did not do during that time was his at least 8 doubles, 8 home runs and 21 RBIs in one month. The last Phillies player to do that was the big piece Ryan Howard back in 2009.
Being in the mix to represent the Philadelphia Phillies in the All-Star game would be a great honor and an amazing accomplishment. Franco would have to beat out some of the best third basemen in the game, only playing about half of the games that everyone else has played. Right now, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Todd Frazier and Matt Carpenter all have similar impressive resumes on the year to match Maikel Franco.
Winning the N.L Rookie of the year on the other hand seems to be a lot more likely considering Franco would have the rest of the year to stuff his already impressive stat sheet. As of right now, it looks like the talks of Rookie of the Year candidates for the National League are, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and of course Maikel Franco of the Philadelphia Phillies. During only 38 games this season Franco has as many home runs as Kris Bryant with 10 on the year, and a better batting average than both Pederson and Bryant. One of the many downfalls of Pederson is that he strikes out more than he should. Unlike Maikel Franco, who has done very well this year by cutting down on swinging and missing the ball. Franco only has 23 strikeouts in 148 plate appearances on the year compared to Pederson’s 85 strikeouts.
If all goes according to plan and Franco can keep up this hot start to the year, we could very well be witnessing our first N.L Rookie of the Year since Ryan Howard back in 2005. The last Phillies third baseman to win the Rookie of the Year was Scott Rolen in 1997. During Ryan Howard’s Rookie of the Year campaign he put up 22 home runs and 63 RBIs, stats that seem too easy for Franco to crush. There is still a lot of baseball to be played and the weather right now is hot enough where the ball is flying around the yard every game. There’s no sure thing in baseball, but Franco is making it hard for us to believe that he won’t give Bryant and Pederson a run for their money to become the Rookie of the Year.