Watch Wander's debut free on MLB.TV

June 22nd, 2021

The top prospect in baseball has made it to The Show, and you won't want to miss one of the most hyped MLB debuts in recent history.

So tune into the Rays' series opener against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field, because Tampa Bay called up Wander Franco -- and it's an MLB.TV Free Game of the Day. (Blackout restrictions apply, but live audio still will be available through MLB.TV in local markets.)

Franco is just 20 years old, but he's MLB's No. 1 prospect, and the switch-hitting infielder looks like a future superstar. The Rays entered Tuesday's game on a six-game losing streak, and they're turning to Wander for a spark. He's batting second and playing third base in his debut.

Here's a quick breakdown of the matchup:

How they're doing
Red Sox: 43-29, 1st in AL East
Rays: 43-30, 2nd in AL East

These are the top two teams in the AL East. Though the Rays' recent skid has dropped them out of the division lead, the reigning AL champs are still just a half-game behind the Red Sox. This will be the second time the clubs meet this season; Boston swept the first series at Fenway Park in April.

The matchup on the mound
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 6.21 ERA, 78 K)
Rays: Andrew Kittredge (5-1, 1.34 ERA, 30 K)

Rodriguez is in a bit of a rough stretch -- the left-hander is 0-4 with an 8.55 ERA over his last seven starts entering his first matchup of the season against Tampa Bay. The versatile right-hander Kittredge will be the opener for the Rays, while lefty Ryan Yarbrough (4-3, 4.14 ERA, 64 K) will handle the bulk of the innings behind him.

The player to watch
Franco. All eyes will be on the player nicknamed "El Patrón" -- The Boss. Franco is the first No. 1 overall prospect to make his MLB debut since Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on April 26, 2019. He's also the second top-five prospect to make his big league debut in '21, after the Mariners' Jarred Kelenic. Franco has been tearing it up in the Minors in 2021, batting .315 with seven home runs, five stolen bases, 35 RBIs and a .954 OPS in 39 games for Triple-A Durham.

Don't forget him
Xander Bogaerts. Franco will get the hype for Tuesday's matchup, but the Red Sox have a great shortstop themselves. Bogaerts is batting .317 with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .931 OPS in 67 games this season, and he's leading the AL with 20 doubles.

Picture this
Check out the spray chart of Franco's base hits from his first two full seasons in the Minors, 2018 and '19.

Number of note
80 -- that's the grade for Franco's hit tool. And it's the highest possible score on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. That means Franco has elite potential with his bat. His 80 grade in hitting is just the second such grade given out by MLB Pipeline in 10 years ... Vlad Jr. was the first.