Wander Franco
17-Year-Old ShortstopSS
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Prior to Franco in 2017, here are the last five consensus top prospects from the July 2 international signing period: Kevin Maitan, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Adrian Rondon, Eloy Jimenez and Franklin Barreto. Rondon looks like a bust and it’s too early to say what Maitan will be. Barreto is a big-league ready top-50 prospect with some upside and some flaws, while Guerrero and Jimenez are easily top-five prospects in the game. Investing in players who have yet to play a professional game, like Franco, is awfully risky, but recent history suggests it’s a risk worth taking if the price is right. Franco is a 5-foot-10 switch-hitting shortstop who turns 17 in March and is expected to eventually move to second base. He was considered the best hitter in this year’s class, with the potential to hit for a high average and offer 20-plus homer pop. The payoff will be at least four years down the road, but the upside is such that Franco should be stashed now in deeper leagues. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a $3.825 million deal with the Rays in July of 2017.
Continues to impress with Princeton
SSTampa Bay Rays  R
August 8, 2018
Franco went 3-for-5 with one home run, two runs, five RBI and a walk in Tuesday's game for the Princeton Rays.
ANALYSIS
He has been the seventh best hitter in the Appalachian League this season (159 wRC+) while being the second-youngest hitter in the league. What really stands out about Franco is that he is already getting so much power in games (.258 ISO) while walking more than he strikes out (12:14 K:BB). In fact, his 6.7 percent strikeout rate is the second-best rate in the league. He checks all the boxes one looks for in a teenage prospect with the potential to someday be viewed as the best prospect in baseball.
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Wraps up big weekend in Appy League
SSTampa Bay Rays  R
July 16, 2018
Franco appeared in three games for rookie-level Princeton over the weekend, going a collective 7-for-14 with two home runs, nine RBI and four runs.
ANALYSIS
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Rays land No. 1 international prospect
SSTampa Bay Rays  R
July 2, 2017
Franco, the No. 1 international prospect according to MLB.com and Baseball America, signed with the Rays for $3.825 million on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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