The Phillies organization and their fans have been patiently waiting for Maikel Franco to develop into the slugger many scouts and analysts have projected him to be.  His batting average took a dip last season as he struck out 106 times and the expectation was for him to hit more than the 25 Home Runs he tallied in 2016.  In 27 games this season he leads the Phillies in Home Runs (5) and RBI (25) but his Batting Average has been underwhelming (.231) while he has lower Slugging Percentage (.404) than Cesar Hernandez, Freddie Galvis, Cameron Rupp and Aaron Altherr in 2017.

ESPN Senior Baseball Writer Buster Olney joined Josh Hennig on Friday and discussed how signing a big name Free Agent in the 2018 Offseason could help Franco:

"I really think that whenever they decide to go dive into the free agent market and the expectation is that in the Fall of 2018 that they are going to be in the conversation for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Once you get another established star, that’s going to help Franco so much. I have seen that dynamic so many times in covering baseball where you get a young player and maybes he’s not as disciplined in his approach as you would like him to be, but all of the sudden if you make the team better and have more responsibility on his shoulders and have people around him that can help him in terms of carrying the middle of the line up. That player gets better and I absolutely expect he’s going to be one of those guys.”

Checkout what Olney had to say about Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Judge hot starts to their 2017 seasons, Mets injury issues, and expectations for Phillies next upcoming offseasons

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