Maikel Franco Wins Award
Infielder Maikel Franco of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is the Phillies Minor League Player of the month for the second consecutive month. Pitching honors go to Williamsport right-hander David Whitehead.
Franco, 22, batted .308 with seven home runs, 24 RBI and a .883 OPS for the month. A native of the Dominican Republic, he was signed by Koby Perez as an amateur free agent on January 13, 2010.
The 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter hit safely in 21 of his 29 games played in August, while tallying multiple hits in 11 of those 21 contests. On August 23 vs Syracuse, Franco became the first IronPig to hit for the cycle in a nine-inning game. He finished his 2014 minor league season with 78 RBI in 133 games, ranking him 19th in all of Triple-A.
Franco, a non-roster invitee to Phillies spring training this year, played for the World team in the futures game at Target Field. This past offseason, Baseball America ranked him the top prospect in the Phillies organization and 17th in all of minor league baseball. At the conclusion of Lehigh Valley’s season, Franco’s contract was selected by Philadelphia and he made his major league debut on September 2 at Atlanta.
David Whitehead, a native of Westchester, Ohio, went 2-1 and posted 0.67 ERA over five games pitched in August. The 6-foot-4 righty struck out 17 batters while not walking any in 27.0 innings of work. He allowed only 25 hits in 107 at-bats, holding opponents to a .234 average.
After missing the entire 2013 season due to a right elbow strain, Whitehead finished the 2014 season with a 2.19 ERA (18 ER, 74.0 IP). Over 13 starts, he held batters to a .246 average, walking only eight while giving up just a single home run.
The 22-year-old was selected by the Phillies in the 34th round of the 2013 draft out of Elon University. Whitehead was signed by Paul Murphy.