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.
Wander Franco is just incredible. 😱 pic.twitter.com/n8RlrbCSkx
— MLB (@MLB) May 13, 2022
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]