Tampa: So what do you do when you’re set to battle for AL East June supremacy with your biggest rival (no one in Boston actually thinks this is a rivalry) but you’re mired in a six-game losing streak? You call up the best prospect in baseball Wander Franco. 

Franco, the switch-hitting Dominican 20-year-old, yes 20, not twenty-something, 20-year-old, is getting tossed to the AL East-leading Sox at the Trop in the first of a three-game set vs Boston. As the Rays try to light a fire under a team dragged back to reality with the aforementioned losing streak. Not to mention the loss of Ace Tyler Glasnow. Franco has played SS since birth but started moving around the infield this spring. Making AAA starts at second and third (seven straight starts at the Hot Corner).

Will Franco fit in Tampa

The jumping around the infield hasn’t hurt his prowess at the dish, batting .327 with a .954 OPS. Now take into account he has seven homers, six triples, 11 doubles, 35 RBIs, and only 21 strikeouts in 39 games for Durham. GOT DAMN. These are numbers that scream, “I’m too good to be playing ball in Durham.”

The Rays crowded infield and early season success had allowed the team to keep him down on the farm and ease into this season. To grow into this call-up after spending 2020 at the Rays alternate training site. Wander was put into their post-season player pool to garner experience with Tampa’s other top prospects. This gave the team confidence to let him skip AA entirely and send him to Durham for his final prep before his debut tonight.

So, you have to ask – Is Franco ready? The Rays think he is and I know I won’t (Wander) too far from my TV over the next 3 days seeing if they are right. 

As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207 

MLB AL East Preview – 6/21/21