Phillies Third Baseman Franco Heads to Winter Ball
While the Phillies sent a number of prospects to winter ball to hone their skills, it appears one more will join the Dominican Winter League, already in progress. Despite playing his first full season as a starting third baseman in the Major Leagues, Maikel Franco will take part in some winter league action in his home Dominican Republic. For the second year in a row, Franco will join the Gigantes del Cibao.
Kerwin Abreu of masterdeportes.com reported the news:
Abreu's tweet says that Franco is preparing to join the league next week.
For someone like Franco, playing in front of a home crowd is a source of great pride. Thus, Franco will be making a short appearance, rather than putting in a full season. The league began play on October 20 and is set to conclude on December 21. Franco will join a team that is currently half a game out of first place, with a record of 15-12.
The Phillies had several prospects on the Gigantes this winter: starting pitchers Alec Asher and Seranthony Dominguez, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, outfielder Cam Perkins, as well as relievers Alberto Tirado and Joely Rodriguez. Former Phillies pitcher Jeremy Horst is also on the roster.
Franco batted .255 with 25 home runs and 88 runs batted in for the Phillies in 2016.