The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb reports the Phillies will call up third baseman Maikel Franco as part of their September call ups. Franco will likely be one of five players to be called up and the 22-year-old would become the youngest Phillies position player to make his debut since Jimmy Rollins in 2000. Gelb writes Franco could start as early as Tuesday in Atlanta.
Franco spent the entire season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley playing most of the year as a 21-year-old having turned 22 just last week. He batted .257/.298/.427 with 16 home runs and 78 RBIs. Franco struggled in the early part of the season before taking a mental break at the end of June and talking with Charlie Manuel. Since the talk with Manuel, Franco hit .324 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs in 54 games. An incredible 30 of his 70 hits over the 216 at bats went for extra bases.
The young slugger entered 2014 coming off of a strong 2013 in which he batted .320/.356/.569 with 31 home runs and 106 RBIs split between High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. In 69 Double-A games, he batted .339/.363/.563 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs. He lead the organization in batting average, home runs, and RBIs en route to being selected as a Florida State League all star and a spot in the MLB Futures Game. He also won the 2013 Paul Owens Award as the Phillies' top minor league position player.
There's reason to watch the Phillies in September.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports