Maikel Franco. What a hitter. Most of you criticised the man for being lazy. Most of you criticized him for flailing at every off-speed pitch. And the most deplorable of them all, I remember one person gave him the nickname “5-3 Franco” aka ground out to third base Franco. But what most of you forgot was how incredible of a spine Maikel has.
Maikel has a great spine https://t.co/hp7KjV66PD
— Tyler (@PhillyTByrd) May 10, 2018
Since the middle of June and a brief benching, Maikel has raised his OPS by 104 pts. More specifically, since June 23rd, Maikel Franco is hitting .413 with an OPS of 1.180 and 9 XBH. The Phillies are 11-6 during this time.
Maikel is murdering RHP this season. in 189 ABs vs. righties, he has an OPS of .818 which is over 100 pts higher than vs. left-handed pitching.
In First Pitch, 1-0, and 0-1 counts Maikel is hitting a combined .361 on the season. Now he has always been a free swinger with a career walk rate of just 6.6%, but this just means he is obliterating fastballs that he is seeing early in counts. This is something you need your 8 hole hitter doing and Maikel has been one of the best in the game with a 1.124 OPS in 39 PA in that slot.
Moreover, where the fuck did this glove of his come from? Maikel has made some ridiculous gold glove caliber plays the past month. He isn’t the most limber guy, but has clearly been chatting with Mike Schmidt and Scott Rolen.
#ad He did it with his bat and his glove tonight.
Maikel Franco with the Field Coverage in support of a pitcher making his MLB Debut.
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 11, 2018
Now the question on everyone’s mind is what the fuck has gotten into Maikel Franco. The most obvious is the badmouthing by yours truly over the years. I didn’t think it would ever register with him, but I even surprise myself sometimes.
More realistically probably this:
Phillies, Royals Have Discussed Mike Moustakas https://t.co/yYxTlmT0CQ
— William J. Obrien (@mrwilliamobrien) July 1, 2018
Phillies fans with banner at CBP for Orioles series
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) July 4, 2018
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 10, 2018
Player’s are human beings and sometimes they need to be at their lowest in order to show their true worth. There is no doubt in my mind that Franco was going through something mentally. He had completely lost his confidence at some point this season, but was confused for lazy by most critics. There was no progression or regression from him, just the same old stagnant Maikel. But most of us, including myself, forgot about the common denominator, Gabe Kapler. Gabe has batted Maikel everywhere in the order this season. Where most would see hitting 8th as a demotion, Gabe inspired Maikel that it was his calling on this team. So far it has worked and I hope it stays this way.
Now it’s July 11th and the Phillies are in First Place in the NL East. The whole team is clicking right now. The manager is making all the right moves. My mind is in a fucking pretzel with this trade deadline that I have no idea what to think. For now, it’s the Gospel According to Gabe and Matty Klentak and I am just a prophet.
Shout out to Enyel De Los Santos for the spot start win last night in his Major League debut. I loved his stuff last night. 94-97 on the fastball with movement and a hard biting curve. That’s the kind of stuff you love to see developing in the farm. Just want to thank Freddy Galvis one more time for giving us another win. Miss you buddy.
The Phillies are in First Place ladies and gents. Phillies are great, Maikel is good, People are crazy…now that’s a t-shirt. Go Phils.