(1090 The Fan) — Out of the prospects the Seattle Mariners brought up to the big leagues in 2013, shortstop Brad Miller may have made the biggest offensive splash. Catcher Mike Zunino struggled at the plate, but to his credit, he was called up too soon because of the Mariners’ catching woes. Then there was infielder Nick Franklin’s promotion in May — thanks to Dustin Ackley’s seemingly endless slump.
Franklin took over at second, even after Ackley returned to Seattle later in the year.
In June, Franklin’s first full month in Major League Baseball, the 22-year-old held a line of .296/.355/.449, impressing the fan base who thought his call-up was premature. The following month his average dropped but his power increased, knocking six home runs and 17 RBI. The rest of the season, however, was tough on the young infielder. Franklin only managed to hit two more home runs on top of a .162 average; he struck out nearly one-third of the time in his remaining at-bats — not a pretty way to end what started out as an encouraging rookie campaign.
With the gigantic, franchise-changing signing of All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, the future is uncertain for Franklin — but the odds of him remaining with the big league club seem slim.
In addition to Cano, the Mariners added infield depth by bringing back utility man Willie Bloomquist, who will likely serve as a backup to Cano and Miller. And because of Miller’s consistency at the plate in 2013, it seems unlikely Franklin can dethrone him in Spring Training. In fact, Miller would almost have to have a horrendous output in Peoria to lose his spot at sortstop.
Nothing is set in stone, but it’s hard to imagine Franklin starts the 2014 season anywhere but Tacoma.
What do you think the Mariners should do with Franklin?
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