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.