The Philadelphia Phillies are a young team and with young talent. One of the Phillies brightest young stars is third basemen Maikel Franco. For the Phillies to have a successful season in 2017, Franco needs to have a bounce back season.
In 2015, Franco showed signs that he had potentials to be an All-Star type player. In 80 games played, Franco hit 14 home runs, 22 doubles and drove in 88 runs. Also, Franco posted a WAR of 1.7, a significant increase from his short stint with the Phillies in 2014 when he posted a -0.4 WAR.
Last season, Franco took a step backwards as all of his major stats decreased. His batting average fell from .280 to .255, his OBP dropped from .343 to .306, and his OPS fell from .840 to .733. His WAR fell from the previous season to 1.2 WAR, a 0.5 decrease.
To be a successful hitter, Franco needs to work on his plate discipline. Let the ball travel and hit it to the opposite field. Don’t pull everything. That’s how successful hitters approach their at bats.
Like a lot of hitters, when he is in a slump he tends to be aggressive at the plate. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but he tends to swing at everything hoping to end the slump. This leaves him vulnerable at the plate. Pitchers are smarter in the majors than they are in the minor leagues. If they notice he always swings at the first pitch regardless of the pitch type or location, a smart pitcher will notice it and will purposely throw a curveball in the dirt or a slider low and away. When a batter starts out with a 0-1 count, their chances of getting a hit decreases as opposed to starting with a 1-0 count.
If Franco makes adjustments and can calm down at the plate when he’s slumping, I expect Franco to have a much better season and could make the All-Star team. He has the ability to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs each season.