Angel Franco taking batting practice. Credit: flickr user kcscoliny16

Projecting Angel Franco

It is one thing to look at the top prospects in the minor leagues and predict who can potentially develop into a major league player. However, sometimes those players who are not the bigger names as prospects who end up being contributors in some way at the major league level. Angel Franco may well turn out to be one of those players.

Offensively, Franco does not really have a specific skill that stands out. In his career, he has a total of 16 home runs while producing a .272/.335/.361 batting line. He has displayed decent speed, with 20 triples and 69 stolen bases, but Franco has also been caught stealing 40 times.

However, what Franco can do is make contact and draw a walk. Franco has struck out in only 14% of his career at bats, while drawing a walk in just over 8% of his plate appearances. That ability could be an asset in the major leagues.

Angel Franco also offers some position flexibility. Although primarily a second baseman, Franco has also spent time at short and third base. He even appeared at catcher for one game back in 2008, so he may be able to serve as an emergency catcher if the need ever arose. Defensively, Franco has been roughly average at second, but he has been subpar at the other positions.

If Franco is able to improve his defense at short and third, he could turn into a viable utility infielder. He certainly would fit the profile, possessing the ability to make contact while being able to draw the occasional walk. As someone that starts a couple of times a week, Franco may be able to produce enough at the major league level where he can be an option.

Although it is highly unlikely for Angel Franco to become a star player, or even a starter at the major league level, he may still be able to become a productive player for the Royals. It is certainly better to develop that type of player than to have to spend money to get a utility infielder in free agency. If nothing else, Franco may be a cost effective option as a utility infielder in another couple of years.

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  • jimfetterolf

    Been keeping an eye on Franco for a couple of years, think you sum him up well.

    This type of post is a great idea, a lot of the future depends on guys in AA, A+, and A that no one has ever heard of. Maybe look at other second basemen in those three leagues, then position by position?

    • Dave Hill

      Probably going to be doing one or two a week. For now, I’ve been focusing on guys who had put together solid seasons, but aren’t on the radar, like Edwards. I may do a positional breakdown before the start of the season as well

      • jimfetterolf

        Took a look at a couple of others, Justin Trapp and Jack Lopez, and the three together remind me that our second base options are still quite limited in the lower minors and what hope there is gets down to a couple of foreign signings currently at shortstop. That’s one reason why, if we trade Billy, we need to concentrate on A+ and AA middle infielders in return. Second base is still a systemic weakness for us, which is why I’m oddly on board for a 4/32 deal for Infante. It might take four years to get his replacement from the system unless Mondezi gets hot and can replace Eskie and move him to second in two years.

        • Dave Hill

          I’ll take a look at them as well.Had a feeling that second base was somewhat barren in the system without looking too deeply into the position, but this will definitely be looked at in more detail in a future post.