Search Archives
Follow Us

Featured Sponsors


Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds
« Investigating Felix Hernandez's Modified Arsenal | Main | Mets Bet $60 Million on Granderson's Bat Speed »
Monday
Dec092013

Breaking Stuff Standing Between Nick Franklin and Potential Stardom

With the 10-year, $240 million mega deal to lure Robinson Cano from New York, the Seattle Mariners signaled to the rest of the league that they're ready to let the Nintendo bucks flow in hopes of contending in 2014. The game plan from the past few seasons -- wait for top hitting talents Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, Nick Franklin et al to complement King Felix -- has been abandoned. Quixotic or not, the M's are gunning for the A's and Rangers right now.

Franklin, in particular, is reportedly drawing serious interest as a trade chip to bolster Seattle's 2014 prospects. It's no secret why: he's a 22-year-old switch-hitter with considerably more offensive upside than your typical middle infielder. Franklin posted a collective .819 OPS in the minor leagues, ranking as a top-75 prospect according to both Baseball America and MLB.com. He certainly didn't embarrass himself as a rookie in 2013, with a park-and-league-adjusted OPS that was four percent below the MLB average (96 OPS+). Brian Cartwright's OLIVER projection system expects Franklin to settle in as a three win player in his early-to-mid-twenties, when he'll make just a fraction of his free agent worth. Dirt-cheap, up-the-middle players with potent bats are valuable commodities.

While Franklin has a high ceiling, he'll need to start squaring up breaking pitches to reach it. Take a look at his contact rate versus curveballs and sliders by pitch location last year, compared to the MLB average. Unless pitchers mistakenly tossed Franklin a belt-high breaking ball, he came up empty:

Franklin's contact rate versus curveballs and sliders, 2013

MLB average contact rate versus curveballs and sliders, 2013

Franklin whiffed 43.7 percent of the time that he swung at a curveball or slider, far higher than the 29.7 percent MLB average. In fact, the only players who generated comparable wind power versus breaking stuff were sluggers Adam Dunn (43.7 percent), Giancarlo Stanton (44.5 percent), Chris Carter (47.8 percent), Dan Uggla (48.5 percent) and Pedro Alvarez (48.7 percent). Vexed by curves and sliders, Franklin punched out in 27.4 percent of his plate appearances.

There's plenty to like about Franklin -- pro experience at both second base and shorstop, a pretty good eye (he walked 10.2 percent of the time a rookie), surprising pop, and five years of team control remaining before he can hit free agent paydirt. But while Franklin has pop, it's obviously not Pedro Alvarez pop. He must start connecting on breaking stuff and raise his average out of the .220s to truly be a threat at the plate, be it in Seattle or elsewhere.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: are speaking
    Breaking Stuff Standing Between Nick Franklin and Potential Stardom - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics
  • Response
    Response: moncler jackets
    What does your perfect business look and sound like? Are you one of those that is looking to make money at home for doing nothing? Or,parajumpers outlet, do you plan to work hard to earn this income in such a way as so that it can actually replace th

Reader Comments (1)

It is not uncommon for young players who hit the long ball to whiff a lot. That can be shown as with Wil Myers who had a 91 SO in 88 games, about 20 games less than Franklin.

Myers and Franklin were at the top of the AL Rookie list in HR, BB, 2B, RBI, and yes, SO.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPointsette
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.