In Nick Franklin’s first 29 games with the Seattle Mariners he hit .302 with 4 home runs and 15 rbi’s. Not bad for a 22 year old. But as frequently happens, major league scouts find the holes, pass on the reports, and pitchers make adjustments. It is then up to the batter to make adjustments to what the pitchers are doing. Nick had problems adjusting. In the last three months of the season over 73 games, Franklin hit .194, 8 home runs, and 30 rbi’s.
This is the part where managers and GM’s bring out the clichés about youth and growing pains. Mariner GM, Jack Zduriencik has talked so much about the growing pains of Justin Smoak over the last three years that Smoak has developed nasty body scars from all his growing. He leads all of baseball in growing pains and scars.
I find it odd though, that baseball players who have played little league, Babe Ruth, Legion, summer leagues, playing baseball in college, and then spending a few years in the minors, somehow forget how to play the game at the major league level. Yet they throw to wrong base, among other dumb mistakes. Maybe it is lack of concentration. I don’t know, but I just wanted to throw it out there.
As for Franklin, Trader Jack said Franklin was thrown into a pennant race down the stretch. I think Jack knows the Mariners were not in the race, at least I hope so. He was referring to playing against playoff teams like Detroit, Oakland, and Tampa Bay down the stretch. Frankly (no pun intended) I don’t consider playing good teams down the stretch as being in a pennant race. The Mariner players were playing for their jobs, nothing more.
Franklin will be 23 when the 2014 season starts and I hope he wins the second base job in spring training. He has a lot of potential and he did improve to .241 in September after bating .107 in August. But with a new manager and potential trades because of a weak free agent market anything could happen. Considering the Mariners penchant in the past for trading young players who become stars, it is best to hold on to Nick.