Wander Franco daily updates from May

Keeping tabs on the No. 1 prospect in the game

May 31st, 2021

May 30: Five-game hitting streak ends
Wander Franco went 0-for-4 Sunday as Triple-A Durham was shut out by Jacksonville, 5-0. The Bulls mustered only two hits in the defeat. Franco's five-game hitting streak and seven-game on-base streak were snapped. He had recorded eight RBIs through his previous five games entering Sunday. Gameday »

May 28: Doubles, homers and drives in three in win
Wander Franco did it all for Triple-A Durham Friday night as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect homered and doubled in the Bulls' 9-1 win. His two-run homer was part of a huge seven-run third for Durham. Franco went 2-for-5 on the night, as the 20-year-old shortstop drove in three runs and scored twice during his performance. He now has a five-game hitting streak and a seven-game on-base streak. He has an RBI in five straight as well. More »

May 27: Fills up the box score
Baseball's top prospect grilled the Jumbo Shrimp as part of a 5-0 Bulls victory, finishing 1-for-3 with a run, an RBI, two walks, and a stolen base. Franco now has a hit in four straight contests and has reached safely in six straight games. In addition, two of his three stolen bases this season have come in his past three outings. Gameday »

May 26: Another RBI in 3-0 win
Wander Franco drove in a run in Triple-A Durham's 3-0 win over Jacksonville, his third straight game with an RBI. His single drove in Rays No. 2 prospect Vidal Bruján, a combo Tampa Bay fans could get used to. Overall, Franco went 1-for-4 and his season average sits at .275. Gameday »

May 25: Drives in one in 2-for-5 night
Wander Franco waited until the seventh inning of Triple-A Durham's 13-5 rout of Jacksonville to join the hit parade, but he collected an RBI single and a double in his final two at-bats of the game. Overall, Franco went 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored to go along with his two hits. It was his second consecutive night with an extra-base hit. Gameday »

May 23: Clutch triple scores two
Franco registered his second triple of the season Sunday evening, plating a pair and bringing the Durham Bulls within one run of the visiting Charlotte Knights. Baseball's top prospect trotted home two batters later thanks to a Kevin Padlo home run which capped a five-run eighth inning. Gameday »

May 22: Walks twice for first time
Despite an 0-for-3 day at the dish, Wander Franco walked twice for the first time in his Triple-A career and came around to score as Durham defeated Charlotte by an 8-7 final score. Gameday »

May 21: Singles in comeback win
While it looked like Wander Franco could be called up for a second today, Franco still suited up for Triple-A Durham in its 3-2 win over Charlotte. Franco went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout. His numbers have fallen back to Earth a bit after a scorching start, as he is now hitting .281 with an .844 OPS. Rays No. 11 prospect Josh Lowe hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Bulls the win. Gameday »

May 21: Rays trade Adames, set to call up Walls
The Rays traded shortstop Willy Adames to the Brewers on Friday. For Tampa Bay, the deal could ultimately help clear a path for MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 prospect, Wander Franco. However, it does not appear the 20-year-old will get the call right away. Rays No. 7 prospect Taylor Walls, a 24-year-old who was the club’s third-round pick in 2017, will be called up on Saturday instead. The Rays presumably want Franco to get more Minor League seasoning. He's appeared in 14 games at Triple-A this season -- the first time he's played above Class A Advanced.

May 20: Back-to-back hitless nights
Wander Franco seems to be in the midst of a rare mini-slump, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Franco is now has one hit in his last 14 at-bats across three games. His batting average has slipped slightly to .283 on the year. Gameday »

May 19: First hitless night in nearly a week
Wander Franco couldn't turn it on Wednesday night, as the No. 1 overall prospect went 0-for-5 with a strikeout for Triple-A Durham. It was a rare off night for Franco, snapping his four-game extra-base hit streak. Gameday »

May 18: Strokes double in 1-for-4 night
It's not often that collecting an extra-base hit is considered cooling off, but for Wander Franco it is. Baseball's No. 1 overall prospect laced a double in his first at-bat in Triple-A Durham's 7-2 win, but it was his only hit for the night. Franco ended 1-for-4 with a strikeout and has now had an extra-base hit in each of his past four games. Gameday »

May 16: Stars at the plate and in the field
Wander Franco continued his recent streak of hot hitting with a four-hit effort Sunday at Triple-A Durham. But hitting wasn't all that the No. 1 prospect in baseball did well. He also turned in this sterling defensive play at third base:

Franco played shortstop exclusively in 2018 and 2019, but he has seen time at second and third base this season with the Bulls and seems to be acquitting himself quite well all over the diamond. With seven hits in his past 15 at-bats, Franco now possesses a .348/.404/.652 slash line through 11 games this season. Franco has also had 21 at-bats since his last strikeout. More »

May 15: Hits first grand slam in blowout victory
Wander Franco had just one hit in six at-bats Saturday, but that one hit marked a first for Franco in pro ball. The No. 1 overall prospect in baseball recorded his first career grand slam in Durham's 14-3 win over Jacksonville. Franco sent a 2-1 pitch out to left-center field and over Durham's Blue Monster wall. The Rays phenom was absolutely jubilant as he rounded the bases.

Franco's four RBIs on Saturday are his most in a game since a five-RBI performance on Aug. 7, 2018 when he was in Rookie ball. He now owns a .293/.362/.610 slash line in 10 games at Triple-A. His time with the Bulls includes five multihit games, three homers and 10 RBIs. More »

May 14: Double highlights two-hit night
Wander Franco put together another multihit effort, his fourth of the season, in Durham's loss to Jacksonville. Franco, who is hitting .314 through nine games this season, singled in the first inning, reached on an error in his next at-bat and then led off the sixth with his second double of the year before finishing 2-for-4. What's perhaps more notable is that baseball's No. 1 overall prospect played third base for the second time in as many days. While Franco exclusively played shortstop in 2018 and 2019, he's seen time at both second and third base so far this season. Gameday »

May 13: Pair of hits, walks highlight doubleheader
Wander Franco reached base four times Thursday across a doubleheader against Triple-A Jacksonville. Baseball's No. 1 overall prospect went 2-for-3 with a walk in the first game and 0-for-2 in the second with a walk. His two hits were singles and he scored a run in the first game. Gameday »

May 11: Tallies RBI in quiet night
Rays fans may have left underwhelmed Triple-A Durham's first home game of the year after Franco went 0-for-3 with an RBI and a strikeout. His RBI came in the seventh inning off a sac fly. After two hitless games, his OPS dropped to .949. Gameday »

May 9: Wander walks and scores
Baseball's top prospect was held in check as Durham dropped their series finale against Memphis 7-6 in extra innings. Franco flashed the leather in the field by contributing to an unconventional 4-3-4 double play but was 0-for-4 at the dish with a run scored, a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Gameday »

May 8: Franco blasts another homer
It's Wander Franco's world and we're all just living in it. After a night off Friday, Franco went back-to-back with Rays No. 2 prospect Vidal Bruján in the ninth inning to cap off a 2-for-6 night for Triple-A Durham Saturday. The two infielders now both sport an average over .420 and an OPS over 1.340. Rays fans have plenty to be excited about the way Franco has started his season. More »

May 6: Franco falls back to Earth
Wander Franco proved he was human after all as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Thursday night. His OPS fell to 1.275 through the first three games of the Triple-A season. Franco faced off with former Rays farmhand and Cardinals No. 1 prospect Matthew Liberatore, with Liberatore striking him out in the first inning. Gameday »

May 5: Franco hits first Triple-A homer
Wander Franco is on fire to start the 2021 campaign. The sample size is obviously small, but baseball's No. 1 overall prospect is showing exactly why his name sits atop the rankings. Franco, who went deep as part of another multihit effort, is 5-for-9 and has driven in four runs through the first two games of the season. More »

May 4: Wanderful debut

The jump from High-A to Triple-A isn't an easy one to make, but Wander Franco appeared right at home in his first game with Triple-A Durham. Baseball's No. 1 overall prospect got things started for the Bulls with an RBI triple in the fourth and then flashed his speed as he beat out an infield single for another run-scoring hit in the seventh.

Franco, who later added another infield single and finished 3-for-5, hit .327 across two levels (114 games) in 2019. His hit tool, an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale, is certainly impressive and the Rays have worked on his defensive versatility to help find ways to keep him in the lineup every day. While Franco has primarily played shortstop in his career, Tampa Bay also got him reps at both second and third while at the alternate training site. Gameday »

April 29: Starting off in Durham
Wander Franco, the top prospect in baseball, will begin the Minor League season in Triple-A.

The Rays are set to announce their Minor League rosters on Friday, and the 20-year-old Franco will join the Triple-A Durham Bulls when they begin their season on Tuesday night in Memphis, Tenn. Franco, MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect two years in a row, will skip the Double-A level after finishing the 2019 season with Class A Advanced Charlotte. More »

April 21: Minor League Spring Training report
The 20-year-old's scouting report is well known but worth repeating. Wander Franco's the only prospect in the game with 80-grade potential for his overall hit tool. In 2019, he hit .327 across two Class A levels and finished with 56 walks and only 35 strikeouts over 114 games during his age-18 season. He also packs plus power as a switch-hitter, which he showed off some in Spring Training last month, and he could be an above-average runner.

Simply put, Franco is someone the Rays should want in the lineup every day, and they're working on making that happen by giving him time at third base as well as second during his work at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte. More »

March 28: Two hits and one plunking
Wander Franco finished his performance on a strong note for the Rays. The shortstop fanned in his first at-bat after being hit by a pitch in the third but reached on singles to right in the seventh and center in the eighth. The knocks gave Franco his first multi-hit game since March 5, and the 20-year-old scored a run while driving in another in Tampa Bay’s 16-5 win. Gameday »

March 27: Showing hustle, intelligence

Having tools is one thing. Knowing how to use them is what turns a well-hit single into a double.

Wander Franco put his talent and his baseball intelligence to use on Saturday, hustling his way into a two-bagger in the Rays' 2-0 win over the Twins. He scored on a single by Dalton Kelly, giving Tampa Bay an insurance run heading into the bottom of the ninth.

The 20-year-old shortstop entered the game on defense in the sixth and faced Minnesota right-hander Ian Hamilton from the right side to lead off the ninth. Franco yanked a soft liner into right field and immediately stepped on the gas. Although Twins outfielder Rob Refsnyder cut the ball off well in front of the wall, Franco engaged his 55-grade speed to haul to second base and slide safely under the tag from shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin. More »

March 26: Spring Training recap
When we look back on this Spring Training years from now, we’ll probably first remember top prospect Wander Franco’s impossibly majestic home run against the Pirates on March 3. (Maybe, by that point, that ball will have landed.) It was an incredible sight to behold, obviously, but also a tantalizing look at the 20-year-old’s immense potential at the plate.

“He’s just so good. He’s got a lot of talent,” said Meadows, who also hit his share of impressive-looking homers this spring, during an interview with FOX Sports Sun. “It’s fun to watch him play, so hopefully we’ll see him up in Tampa soon.” More »

March 24: Wander or Witt Jr.?
Wander Franco ranks No. 1 on our Top 100 Prospects list, six spots ahead of Witt. Franco is nine months younger and already has excelled in High-A, while Witt had a so-so pro debut in Rookie ball, but this is still a tough call. I'll go with Franco because when two prospects are close, I'm going to bet on the superior hitter, and Franco has an 80-grade bat. He'll get every bit out of his plus raw power, he has solid speed and arm strength and he's a capable shortstop, even if he'll probably move to a different position because Tampa Bay has better defensive options there. More »

March 17: Ripping a 104.1 mph single
Two days after being reassigned to the Minors, baseball’s top prospect returned for a game with Tampa Bay. In his first at-bat, Wander Franco ripped a single up the middle. At 104.1 mph off the bat, the ball ricocheted off the glove of pitcher Mitch Keller. Franco was retired in his next four trips, grounding out to first, flying out to center and lining out to third twice. Prior to being reassigned, the 20-year-old shortstop was 5-for-15 in seven big league camp games. Gameday »

March 14: Comfortable at third base
Over the years, the Rays have shown a tendency to shift their prospects around the field as they advance through the system, adding to their defensive versatility and creating more paths to playing time in the Majors. Top prospect Wander Franco is no exception.

Franco started at third base in the Rays’ 8-7 loss to the Braves on Sunday at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla., his first appearance in a game at a position other than shortstop.

Franco made plays on all three balls hit to him during his five innings in the field, although his attempt to start a double play on a fifth-inning grounder by Ender Inciarte yielded only one out. More »

March 5: First multi-hit game of spring
After a day off following his loud first spring hit, Wander Franco tripled his total with a pair of base knocks for the Rays. The 20-year-old shortstop, who features an 80-grade hit tool, ripped a pinch-hit single to center in the fifth, then added an RBI single to the same spot an inning later. Gameday »