Phillies Top Prospect Maikel Franco Switches Positions


Just a day after hitting his 29th home run for AA Reading, the Phillies' top offensive prospect is switching positions, at least for now, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.   Franco will likely spend the rest of Reading's season at first base.   The Reading Fightin Phils' season ends on Labor Day.

So why the switch? 

"It's just to give him another position he could go to," assistant general manager Benny Looper said. "His bat is coming quick, it looks like. He's probably going to be limited to third or first. He's never played first so we wanted to break him in and see if that's a possibility."

It would be a possibility, if the Phillies had first base open.  Ryan Howard is signed for three more seasons beyond this one, and some feel that Franco could be ready for the major leagues as soon as late next season.

The piece notes that some are skpetical of Franco's ability at the position, given his lack of speed.  Others find him to have good hands and an arm to go with it at third base that could make up for his lack of range.

Perhaps Cody Asche has shown the Phillies enough that they hope he will play third base for the Phillies for years to come and they envision a Phillies team down the line with Asche at third base and Franco at first base.  However, if there is some hope of Franco playing third base, I would highly prefer that the team give him as much experience as possible at the position, because that is where he may get the opportunity to play first.  

Ryan Howard's contract could dictate the outcome.

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