During Friday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco showed an example of why he was the consensus top prospect — the extremely rare 80-grade type — in baseball last year.

With the game scoreless in the top of the second inning, Franco ranged to his right, backhanded a groundball, and made an incredible jump throw to rob Toronto’s Teoscar Hernández of a hit.

He made that look way, way too easy. That’s crazy arm strength on the throw.

Franco, who turned 21 in March, is a remarkable talent that does pretty much everything on the baseball field well. He was valued at six defensive runs saved (DRS) at the premium position of shortstop as a 20-year-old rookie in 2021.

He also reached base in 43 consecutive games last season, tying Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (1956) for the longest on-base streak in AL/NL history by a player 20 years old or younger. This season, Franco has put together a .299/.323/.480 slash line at the plate, which is excellent in an MLB season where offense is down so much (he has an elite 141 wRC+, for example).

Wander Franco is the real deal, and it’s going to be a blast to follow his MLB career.

[Photo Credit: Bally Sports Sun]

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.