The Tampa Bay Rays are calling up Wander Franco, the best prospect in MLB, and he will make his big league debut on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox.
The shortstop is widely regarded as the whole package: he is an above-average fielder and also a plus runner, with enough athleticism to stay at shortstop in the long-term.
As good as those traits are, his calling card is what he can do in the batter’s box.
He is being advertised as a generational talent, capable of contending for the MVP award annually once he reaches his peak.
MLB fans should be excited for Franco’s arrival, and here is why.
3. Exciting Power-Speed Combo
In 214 minor league games, Franco has shown he has both wheels and pop.
Wander Franco now has five hits in two games at Triple-A including this home run tonight ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/DkZpX6uBSR
— Fantasy Baseball Today (@FBTpod) May 6, 2021
He has 27 home runs and 27 stolen bases, but consider that he is 20 years old (!) and hasn’t even sniffed his peak.
It’s possible that his game power increases within the next couple of years, but it’s also possible that same potential physical growth hinders his speed.
In any case, he can clearly impact a game with both tools.
He has work to do as a base stealer, as he has been caught 21 times over his minor league career.
But Franco is a game-changing talent that has shown the ability to make adjustments before.
2. The New Face Of Baseball
For years, people have been waiting for this day.
Franco has generated so much fuss about his major league debut that he is a well-known commodity even outside the prospect circles.
So far, he has hit in every level he has played in.
For his minor league career, he has a .332/.398/.536 slash with a .934 OPS.
This year marked the first time he played in Triple-A, and he was unfazed by the two-level jump in competition, hitting .315/.367/.586 with seven round-trippers and five steals in 39 games.
His short and explosive swing makes him a candidate to win the batting title on a yearly basis, and all the other tools are at least plus.
That makes Franco the most highly-regarded prospect in the game.
He will be the face of the Rays for years to come, and one of baseball’s most exciting players, which is excellent for the health of the game.
1. How Much Will He Help During His First Season?
Another reason why fans should be thrilled to see Franco is that they will see what he can do in the middle of a postseason race.
The Rays are currently second in the American League East and trying to hold off the surging Yankees, so he will be thrown into the fire.
It’s a wanderful day for some baseball
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 22, 2021
Fans will be eager to see what he is made of, as he will be expected to give the team a jolt.
In fact, he is being called up with huge expectations, since Tampa made the decision to bring him after losing six straight games, including getting swept by the Seattle Mariners over the weekend.
Franco has the ability to perform right out of the gate, but asking him to carry the team right now might be a bit too much.
Still, the man is here, and baseball is excited to see him, rightfully so.NEXT: 2 Rays Who Must Step Up With Tyler Glasnow Injury