Just a couple of years ago, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was universally regarded as the best prospect in baseball.
He is capable of hitting for a high batting average, taking walks, hit home runs, and stealing some bases, too.
He is a good defensive shortstop, too, and a really smart player.
In other words, he’s got it all to be a star for the next 15 years.
What he didn’t have last season, however, was health.
This time, after completing an offseason regime destined to improve his flexibility and agility, he seems hungrier than ever.
He wants to prove the world that he can be an elite player in MLB.
So far, so good in the spring.
In his first at-bat of the spring, Wander Franco goes yard. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/RaDvugCXPo
— MLB (@MLB) February 27, 2023
Not a bad way to open his spring training presentation: a home run.
There will surely be more than 20 of those if he manages to stay off the injured list.
He had some lingering quad, hamstring, and hand issues that bothered him for the majority of the year in 2022.
It was hard for him to gain consistency when he was limited one way or another.
Things are different now: he is 100 percent healthy at the moment.
He wants to top his .810 OPS in 2021, and his .746 mark from last season.
He is certainly capable of that, given his prospect pedigree and his impressive set of tools.
There is a reason why the Rays gave him a 12-year contract worth $185 million, with a maximum of $223 million.
You have to be very special for Tampa to give away such a lofty deal.
Franco evidently is.NEXT: Rays Pitcher Comments On The Arbitration Process