Wander Franco has been named the 2018 Appalachian League Player of the Year.
The 17-year-old budding super prospect has been among minor league baseball’s top players since making his professional debut in late June with the Princeton Rays. He will not turn 18 until next March, but that hasn’t stopped pundits all over the game from ranking him as one of the game’s elite prospects.
So far this season with the Princeton Rays, Wander Franco has hit .374/.445/.636 with 11 home runs over 245 plate appearances, giving him a wRC+ of 176. He is showing plus tools in almost all facets of the game, with an incredible plate zone recognition and contact ability. Despite being one of the youngest players at his level, Franco has struck out just 5.7% of the time, while he has walked 11.0%.
In their most recently updated top 100 list, Baseball America ranked Wander Franco as the 19th prospect in all of baseball with his stock increasing on each night that ends with a ‘y’.
He may catapult into the top 10 by the time 2019 rolls around.
Keith Law recently attended a Princeton Rays and came away very impressed with Franco, calling him ‘MLB’s next teenage superstar’
Wander Franco's swing on his home run in game 1 last night. pic.twitter.com/PaGjBN455F— keithlaw (@keithlaw) August 23, 2018
The Tampa Bay Rays own one of baseball’s best farm systems, with Baseball America ranking them second, behind only the San Diego Padres.
The amount of talent they have stacked throughout the system is incredible, but the 17-year-old in Princeton may be their most exciting player to watch on a daily basis.