Lefty Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco have been selected to play in the 15th Annual MLB Futures Game at Citi Field on Sunday, July 14. Biddle with pitch for the US squad while Franco will represent the World team.
Biddle, 21, has a 3.29 ERA in 14 starts, with a 1.197 WHIP. The jump from High-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading has not phased Germantown Friends’ Biddle: Biddle has increased his strikeouts per 9 IP by almost a full K in 2013. Biddle hasn’t be as efficient as he was last year limiting walks but his 1.197 WHIP is a career-low and his 91 Ks leads the Eastern League.
Franco, 20, has clubbed his way to Double-A after hitting a career-high 16 home runs in just 288 PAs for High-A Clearwater. Franco posted a career-high triple-slash in that time period (.299/.347/.576) and combined it with excellent glove work. Franco’s early performance with Reading has been awesome: Franco is hitting .524/.545/.952 in his first 22 PA with two homers.
Analysis: Biddle is one of the top lefties in the Eastern League right now and his consistency as a 21-year old has scouts salivating.
Franco has used a solid frame to square up on balls and send them over the wall, conquering High-A in his first trip in about 1/3 of a season. Franco was ranked #42 overall in Baseball Prospectus’ mid-season Top 50 list and Danny Knobler of CBS passed this note along Monday on Twitter:
One scout on 20-year-old Phillies prospect Maikel Franco, just promoted from A to AA: “Best impact bat I’ve seen in minors this year.”
— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) June 24, 2013
It is a relative long shot but both could see time with the Phillies in late 2014 if they continue to develop at this rapid pace. Keep them in mind during Spring Training 2015.