With just over half of the MLB season in the rear view mirror, you should have a pretty good idea of where your fantasy team stands at the moment. The seasonal sample size is sufficient to properly evaluate the majority of the everyday players, and now is a good time to try to swing a deal to strengthen any weaknesses and make a push for the league title. The players on the extreme ends of the talent/production spectrum are fairly easy to identify. Who doesn’t want Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw on their fake teams? At the same time, it might be better to leave a lineup slot empty than to use either Alexei Ramirez or Yonder Alonso at any given time. Those are the easy decisions. The tough ones involve the players who are hovering somewhere in the middle, teetering on the edge of breakout or bust. Philadelphia Phillies 23-year-old third baseman Maikel Franco is such a player. After leading the Grapefruit League in homers and RBIs this spring, Franco looked as appetizing to fantasy players as an authentic Philly cheesesteak wiz wit. The first couple of months of the regular season weren’t all fresh Amoroso rolls and grilled onions for the second year player though. Through June 19th (263 plate appearances), Franco was sporting a .236/.281/.409 triple slash line with 19 runs, 11 homers, 33 RBIs, and zero steals. Not exactly the type of production that his owners had in mind. However, in his last 15 games and 66 PAs since then, Franco has slashed .375/.470/.786 with 14 runs, 6 homers, and 16 RBIs. So who is the real Franco? The mediocre three category liability that opened the season or the Miguel Cabrera clone of the last few weeks?

Let’s take a look at Franco’s profile to determine what can be expected from him over the remainder of the 2016 season. Here are a few observations:

Considering his age and experience level, his plate discipline is very good. I know, I know. Kind of hedging my bets here, but Franco’s 7.6% BB% is right around league average and his 31.0% O-Swing% is the lowest rate of his young career. His 18.2% K% is well below the MLB average (21.0%), and his 12.9% SwStr% is lower than that of established sluggers with respectable averages such as Carlos Gonzalez, Kris Bryant, and Nelson Cruz. Speaking of slugging, another thing that’s certainly worth mentioning about Franco is that…

He has excellent power. Franco’s .218 ISO is comparable to players such as Cabrera as Paul Goldschmidt and higher than that of players like George Springer and Ryan Braun. While his 289.12 ft average flyball distance isn’t quite in the elite range, it’s in the Cruz/Springer area and superior to that of other notable sluggers such as Anthony Rizzo, Bryce Harper, and Edwin Encarnacion. That power should play well over the warm summer months considering the fact that…

His home ballpark is one of the most homer-friendly parks in MLB. Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park has finished in the top 6 in MLB in terms of park factor for home runs each season since 2013 (according to ESPN). Over the last three seasons, it has also had the highest HR index for right-handed hitters, which Franco obviously is.

Bottom line: This one’s pretty short and sweet since there’s not a whole lot more to discuss regarding Franco. He’s not going to steal many (or possibly any) bases due to his lack of speed, nor will he post gaudy run totals thanks to the lack of quality hitters protecting him in the Phillies lineup. However, he can take a walk and his contact skills and power are certainly above average. While his batting average is likely to be kept in check by his still-too-high groundball rate (43.8% GB%) and his propensity to pop the ball up (18.3% IFFB%), Franco just might produce the quietest .270/30/90 season of any player this season. With just over one full MLB season under his belt and still seven weeks away from celebrating his 24th birthday, Franco still possesses plenty of upside as well.

Final Verdict:

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  1. Chris says:
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    Thanks Magoo

    Which side do you like? 14 team mixed league h2h roto.
    Matz-Andrus-Moya-Saunders
    For
    Nola-Ellsbury-Ed Nunez-seth Smith

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chris: I like the Matz side there. I think that Nunez will come back down to Earth soon, and Nola seems to be gassed and/or hurt at the moment.

  2. The Hack Formerly Known as Hate says:
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    As someone who drank a shizz ton of the Franco juice it re-assures me that what I was seeing was not how it was going to end up. Hopefully Cesar can keep hitting too and help boost some of those RBI totals. Will also be waiting on the late season prospect call ups and possible damage they can do for the Phillies with Franco as the man in Philly

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @The Hack Formerly Known as Hate: It would probably be best for Franco if Cesar stays towards the bottom of the lineup, but the Phillies don’t really have any #2 hitters at the moment. Maybe Crawford could fill that spot eventually, but not this year. Odubel has been solid, Rupp and Asche have been decent, and maybe Williams and/or Altherr can provide a boost in the 2nd half. It’s pretty barren at the moment though. I still like Franco either way.

  3. Will says:
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    DeScalafani or Nola ROS

    should i trade Encarnacion for Franco in a 12 team keeper league? I would prefer another 1B to replace Encarnacion, but this seems like it could be a fair trade for this year, but a win in future years for me by having Franco.

    thoughts on these 2 questions?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Will: I like DeSclafani more than Nola for the 2nd half. He’s looked very good since coming off of the DL, and Nola looks gassed. He might be paying the price for his heavyish workload last season.

      Are you in contention this year? If so, I’d hold Encarnacion. He’s still a HR/RBI monster. If you’re playing for the future, I’d take Franco there. They should have roughly even value next season (depending on where Encarnacion ends up in FA) and Franco should have the edge beyond that.

      • Will says:
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        @Big Magoo: ok, i’ll hold since I’m in contention this year. thanks for the advice

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Will: No problem. Good luck!

  4. RG says:
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    What’s a fair return for Altuve in a 10 team, keep-8 (on a 3-year contract) Roto league with the standard 5×5?

    His deal is up for me after this year, and I have a hard time thinking I could possible sell higher than right now.

    I have an offer of Springer, Schoop, and a draft pick for him that is tempting…because I think I am going to struggle to get a Harper, Goldie, Rizzo, Bryant, or Machado (only Rizzo’s deal is up with his team).

    Oh, and I also have to trade Trout this year…so I would be targeting one of the above with that deal.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @RG: Does the acquiring team have the option to sign any new acquisition to a three year deal?

  5. Nitro says:
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    Do you think A Reyes or Bregman will have more of an impact this year?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Nitro: I think that Reyes has a better chance to do something this season if the Cards remain in wild card contention. Bregman would need an injury or a position change (which the Astros seem to have backed off on) to get an opportunity this season.

  6. Luvdarooks says:
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    NL only. VERY DEEP because after 23 starters we have 15 reserves. 11 teams & 10 KEEPERs/year.( $260). SO OBVIOUS HIGH INFLATION. ( Kershaw was 40 )
    Minor players stay the salary till activated while all others get a $5 yearly raise until the owner feels they are no longer worth keeping.
    So I will gain more points in P than I’d lose in hitting if glasnow gets 80 k with 7 wins and a whip under 1.2.
    So what do you think of a $ 6 Grishuk that i give up for gaining a $15 Glasnow
    ID CUT petit

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Luvdarooks: Depends on needs. If you’d need Glasnow to hit those numbers this season to make that deal worthwhile, I’d probably hold and keep the extra $9. I’d put Glasnow’s over/unders at 65 Ks, 5 wins, and a 1.25 WHIP for the rest of this season.

  7. Chris says:
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    Hello Big Maggo:

    would you trade Arrieta for Teheran and Lackey?

    thanks

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chris: Arrieta side, not close

  8. Chris says:
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    Another option can be Kluber and Carlos Martinez for Arrieta but don’t know if the other owner would go for it.

    Thanks for the comments.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chris: I think it’s a good time to try to acquire Arrieta. I wouldn’t bother with a Teheran/Lackey offer though. That’s not nearly enough. Kluber/CMart is a fair offer for Arrieta though (and I like the Arrieta side there).

  9. Jeff says:
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    i jave semian and odor.

    desperately need pitching and can only get roark for odor. would you pull the trigger here?

    • Jeff says:
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      @Jeff:

      I have* Semien*

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jeff: That’s a pretty light return. I’d hold out for a better pitcher, or at the very least get another SP back in that deal.

  10. Adam says:
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    Please rank ROS
    Story,Justin upton, CJ Cron
    Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Adam: Pretty much a toss up between Upton and Story. Probably give the edge to Story due to home park and positional eligibility. Cron brings up the rear.

  11. Mike says:
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    Abreu and Archer for McCutchen and Tanaka in a 12 team H2H keeper league? Glad to see Franco start to pull it together. Would appreciate it if Abreu could go on a similar tear.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Mike: I’d appreciate that too! That looks like a pretty even deal. The tiebreakers for me are McCutchen’s lack of running and Tanaka’s elbow, which I believe will require surgery at some point in the near future. Abreu/Archer side.

  12. my man Magoo. I think highly of all yall folks who write for Razzball. other day I asked about a proposed trade bumgardner for Harper. truth isi was 2nd guessing myself so I asked for your feel on it but worded it as if my player was the one being courted, truth and nothin but the whole truth so help me gawd was the that proposed the trade very minute after reading your reply. I feel Harper and Giancarlo ate going to battle for possibly NL MVP. But thanks for the reassurance

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Dnut Eastwood: Thanks man! I appreciate the kind words. I’ll always do my best to give an honest answer to any questions that are thrown my way.

  13. swaggerjackers says:
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    Magoo!

    How’s life?

    I was #AllIn on Franco this draft season and I’m staying the course. 30 bombs is certainly a possibility.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @swaggerjackers: Hey Swagger! Life’s hot as hell right now. Can’t wait for it to cool down a bit. How are you doing? And I fully expect Franco to hit 30 bombs this year. He’s on pace to do so even after an adjustment period during the first half of the season.

      • swaggerjackers says:
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        @Big Magoo: Hot indeed!

        I became a dad 6 weeks ago so that’s what I’ll blame my slide in the fantasy standings on.

        Thoughts on AJ Reed? I have him cheap in a shallow keeper league and I’m trying to decide if he’s worth holding onto. So far he’s been burning a hole in my bench.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @swaggerjackers: Congrats! That’s definitely a valid excuse. Sleeping is probably the best use of your scant free time, haha. And I say that from experience.

          You could probably cut him loose in a shallow keeper depending on your other options. I see him as a Justin Bour/Mitch Moreland type of player over the next few years.

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