He is the best prospect in MLB, yet some people think he is overrated.
Knew this was coming all along… Enter Wander Franco the most overrated prospect ever… https://t.co/jRnVZRCEnC
— Adam King (@TopSportsMind) May 21, 2021
Are they right?
Here are three reasons why they are wrong.
3. He Has Performed Against Significantly Older Competition
The prospect evaluators community is extremely confident that Franco will sooner or later be a star in MLB.
That confidence stems from the fact that Franco has always performed, no matter the level he has played.
As a 17-year-old kid in Rookie ball in 2018, he hit .351/.418/.587 with 11 home runs in 61 games.
Next year, as an 18-year-old, he had a .318/.390/.506 line in Class-A and a .339/.408/.464 performance in Class-A Advanced.
Last season, there wasn’t minor league ball, but this year, with a huge jump in competition level (from Class A-Advanced to Triple-A), Franco hit .315/.367/.586 with seven homers and five steals in 39 games as a 20-year-old.
Franco is used to playing against competition that is much older and more experienced than him, yet he has managed to dominate at all levels.
That is hardly the profile of an overrated hitter.
2. He Is A Master Of The Strike Zone
Part of what makes Franco so great as a prospect is that he is a master of the strike zone.
Many prospects, even stars, tend to run high strikeout rates at Franco’s age.
Others simply lack the patience to draw walks and wait for the right pitch to hit, whether it is the first pitch or a 3-2 offering.
Franco knows the strike zone and is a disciplined hitter, but can be aggressive when he likes the pitcher’s offering.
Over his minor league career, the Rays shortstop has earned 95 walks and has struck out only 75 times.
Even against the most advanced competition he has seen, this year in Triple-A, he has only struck out in 11.9 percent of his plate appearances, an extremely low rate.
We are talking about a prospect as MLB-ready as they come, and he will get a chance to show that starting on Tuesday against the Red Sox.
1. He Has No Weaknesses As A Prospect
By now, we know all about Franco’s offensive potential: he has batted over .300 at every level and there is no reason he can’t do it in MLB.
He also has 25-homer power, as he hits the ball hard and to all fields.
And he is extremely hard to strike out, as he is not vulnerable to breaking balls or off-speed offerings and has the hand speed to hammer fastballs in the inner part of the zone.
However, he is also a good fielder at a premium position, and has a solid throwing arm.
He is also speedy and can steal bases at the major league level.
His athleticism, instincts, and baseball awareness can also impact games.
Franco is the rare prospect that has virtually no weaknesses, making the chances of a smooth transition to MLB ball extremely high.
What do you guys think Wander Franco’s peak projection is?
My guess: .322/116/34/109/22 pic.twitter.com/V41Iwflnor
— Fantasy Central (@FantasyCentral1) May 6, 2021
It’s hard to consider such a talent, a five-tool player, as overrated.
Everything he has earned in baseball is the reflection of incredible talent and fantastic work ethic.
And, most importantly, he is not all hype: he has performed like a star in each and every minor league stop.
We are talking about the best prospect in baseball.
Like all prospects, he has some bust probability, but he is not at all overrated based on actual performance and tools.