Franco went 2-for-4 with a solo home run Sunday in Colorado. Franco's second-inning homer was the only run planted against starter Jeff Hoffman in his seven innings of work. The third baseman has taken a step back after last season despite this strong effort, as his .230/.285/.407 line is down across the board compared to his .255/.306/.427 output in 2016.
Franco went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer against the Astros on Wednesday. He'd gone 0-for-15 over the past four games, so this was a welcome change of pace. Despite that skid, Franco has actually been posting much-improved numbers since early July -- over his last 20 games, he owns an .835 OPS along with five homers, 16 RBI and 13 runs. That's more like what fantasy owners were looking for on draft day, and if he can keep it up, he'll provide solid value down the stretch and improve his stock for next season.
Manager Pete Mackanin said Franco has leveled his swing, which has helped him get things going at the plate, Corey Seidman of CSN Philadelphia reports. "He's not upper-cutting the ball," Mackanin said. "He has a nice, level swing. Matt (Stairs) had him shorten his stride and that helped in that regard. But he is working above the ball rather than underneath the ball." Franco is hitting .297/.343/.563 with four homers in 64 at-bats in July after hitting just .219/.277/.371 with 10 homers over the first three months of the season. He's also shown an improved eye at the plate, dropping his strikeout rate by more than four percent this year and upping his walk rate by 1.1 percent over last season. His July performance may indicate a big second half is coming for the young third baseman.
Franco went 3-for-4 with a double and a solo home run in Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Marlins. His eighth-inning shot off Dustin McGowan, Franco's 14th homer of the year, broke a 2-2 tie and send the Phillies on their way to victory. The third baseman is now hitting .308 (16-for-52) over his last 13 games with four homers and 11 RBI, and while it's been a rough season so far for the 24-year-old, he still has time to salvage his campaign with a big second half.
Franco went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Saturday against the Padres. Franco connected on his 13th home run of the season to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning of a losing effort. Despite the bomb, he's been a difficult player to use in fantasy lineups, as he's slashing just .220/.277/.389.
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