Baseball

Wander Franco Dominates His MLB Debut

Wander Franco
Chris O’Meara – AP Photo

For the past two plus seasons one young star has stood tall as the number one prospect in all of baseball. That player is 20 year old Wander Franco. On Tuesday night he started in his first MLB game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Minor League Years

Franco spent the past two plus seasons in the minor leagues of the Rays system and he proved why he deserves to be given a chance in the majors.

During his time in the minors from 2018-2021, in 945 plate appearances, he posted a .332 batting average, .398 on-base percentage, .536 slugging percentage, 27 stolen bases and 27 home runs.

His success sent him straight from single-A to triple-A at the very start of the 2021 season. After posting 51 hits, 11 doubles, seven homers and 35 RBI’s the Rays quickly promoted him to the top.

Franco’s MLB Debut

Wander Franco
Chris O’Meara – AP Photo

On Sunday, June 21 it was announced that Wander Franco would make his highly anticipated MLB debut on Tuesday, June 23 when the Rays were set to play the rival Boston Red Sox.

It would not take long for fans to get to see him play as he started at third base and was written in at number two in the batting lineup.

When his name was announced as he stepped to the plate the Tampa fans gave him a warm welcome. They knew they were witnessing the next big name in baseball.

He fell down 0-2 early, but he stayed patient and was able to climb all the way back to draw a walk. He would then score his first run on an error.

When he stepped to the plate in the fifth innings the Rays were down 5-2 and in need of a big hit with no outs and two runners on. He wasted no time at all and drove the first pitch of the at-bat over the left field fence for a three run homer to tie the game at five.

He finished the game 2-4 with a walk, one run scored and three RBI’s.

To add to his success, he made a spectacular double play which made highlight reels all over. He forced a runner heading to third out of the baseline for out number one and then whipped the ball to first base for the second out.

He has only played one game and has made more noise than most great players do in a week.

Young History

As briefly noted above this talent is not extremely young. Franco is the first player who was born in 2001 to appear at the major league level. He is 20 years and 113 days years old.

He is the youngest player to make his MLB debut hitting either first or second since Andruw Jones on August 15, 1996, who was 19 years and 114 days old.

As if that was not enough, he was the youngest player to homer in his first career game since Jurickson Profar in 2012 who was 19 years and 195 days old.

Additionally, he is the youngest player to hit a home run for the Rays since B.J. Upton in 2004.

While most 20 year olds are enjoying summer break before they have to go back to college for their junior year Wander Franco is out here making headlines with one of the best teams in the American League. This young star is overflowing with potential and he has so much more baseball ahead of him, meaning his chances of making the headlines again are high.

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  1. Pingback: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Hits Career Home Run Number 50 - Championship Sports Media

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