2013 Seattle Mariners Prospect No. 4: Nick Franklin

Nick Franklin, SS/2B, Tacoma Rainiers (AAA, average age 26.8 in 2012)

6-1, 180 lbs, 22 years old

Bats: Switch, Throws: Right

Acquired: 2009 Amateur Draft (1st Round)

2012 Ranking: 5th

ETA: 2013

The only part of Nick Franklin’s half-season struggles in Tacoma that are really concerning are his reasonably large increase in strikeouts, he went from 15.9 percent in Jackson to 23.0 percent in Tacoma. Franklin has potential to remain at shortstop, and unless he’s jumped by Brad Miller he is the heir apparent to the position once Brendan Ryan no longer mans the spot. Franklin hits left-handed much better than right-handed, and there’s some talk that he’s destined to give up hitting from the right side, and he posted a .553 OPS from the right side at both levels in 2012, and an .879 OPS from the left side. There’s not a lot of data on whether or not switch hitters who struggle from both side are better off dumping the bad side of the plate, or if they’re better off keeping it at diminished results, but it’s hard to believe that Franklin will achieve his potential continuing to take at bats from the right side. Franklin has a .095 ISO from the right side, and a .183 ISO from the left side. Franklin may not take over the shortstop job permanently at any point in 2012, but he’s almost certainly going to see some time toward the end of August or early September.

Potential (of 40): 33

Probability of Success (of 30): 20

Positional value (of 20): 18

Character (of 10): 10

OVERALL: 81

The rest of the 2013 Top 25 Prospects

  • maqman

    He’s going to need a big stick to surpass Ryan’s overall WAR value at SS. I think Miller might be a better choice eventually. If hits good enough they will find a spot for him.