Monday, January 26, 2015

Franco's 7 RBI propel Gigantes del Cibao to Championship Round

From Teddy Cahill of

"Third baseman Maikel Franco, the Phillies' No. 3 prospect, was one of the hottest hitters throughout the winter ball playoffs in his native Dominican Republic. Though he saw his hitting streak snapped at 13 games on Tuesday, Franco continued to be a driving force in the lineup for Gigantes del Cibao when the games mattered most.

"Franco capped his playoff run Sunday in Game 8 of the Liga de Beisbol Domincano championship series against Estrellas de Oriente with a dominant effort, hitting two home runs and driving in seven runs as Cibao defeated Oriente, 12-5.

"With the victory, Gigantes won the best-of-nine series and will advance to next week's Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico to play the champions from winter leagues in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, as well as a Cuban team...."


Franco did quiet down a few days ago, but that's "baseball being baseball". Overall, he's continuing the hitting rampage he started during the second-half of the AAA season, which is a great sign as we head near Spring Training. Due to him being young, Asche still a viable option at 3B, Howard & Ruf blocking him at 1B, and - most importantly in a rebuilding year - keeping Franco's service clock near zero (via spending less than 107 days on 25-man roster O.D. to 8/31)... Maikel looks to start the year in AAA again. It would take a stellar spring from him and perhaps a quiet spring from Asche to convince the front office to put Franco on the MLB roster for most of the year. Still, seeing him continue to hit is good because that makes it more likely he'll be called up in May or June vs. July or August, especially considering holding back Giles last year (an OK - maybe a good - decision, in my opinion) led to him getting only 8 pts. in Rookie of the Year voting. I'd like to see Franco get a ton more this year. Rube, if you can only get one thing right this year, please let it be this!!!

Countdown to S.T.: 25 days.

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