Orioles sign third baseman Maikel Franco

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

The Baltimore Orioles have signed third baseman Maikel Franco of Azua, Dominican Republic to a one-year contract worth $800,000 according to ESPN on Tuesday. The Orioles will be the third team Franco has played for in his Major League Baseball career. He has previously played six seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2014 to 2019 and the 2020 Major League Baseball season with the Kansas City Royals.

In 2020, Franco batted .278 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in with the Royals. He scored 23 runs and had 62 hits, 16 doubles, one stolen base, 16 walks, 102 total bases, four sacrifice flies and one intentional walk. The stolen base was only Franco’s fourth stolen base of his career. It came in a 5-4 Royals loss to the Minnesota Twins on August 23.

One interesting statistic for Franco in 2020 is the fact he played in all 60 games for the Royals this past season. It was the first time that Franco did not miss a game in a single season. Sure, there were only 60 games during the 2020 Major League Baseball regular season last year, but Franco has shown some notable endurance over the last few years. He played between 123 games and 154 games in the four seasons with the Phillies from 2016 to 2019.

Franco also had a multi-home run game with the Royals in 2020. He hit two dingers in a 14-6 Royals win over the Detroit Tigers on July 27. Franco also had five runs batted in during an 11-1 Royals win over the Cleveland Indians on September 1.

In Franco’s 2015 season, he made Phillies history by becoming the first Phillie to record five runs batted in during two consecutive games. He had five runs batted in during an 11-8 Phillies win over the New York Yankees on June 22, 2015, and then had five runs batted in again during an 11-6 Phillies win over the Yankees on June 23, 2015.

Franco has also been known for his plate discipline in his career. In 2018, for example, he was the only player with 20 or more home runs, and 62 or fewer strikeouts. Franco only had 38 strikeouts in 2020.

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