MARIETTA, Ga. -- Jackson Generals shortstop Nick Franklin has been named the Topps Southern League Player of the Month for May, an award voted upon by Southern League Field managers. Franklin is the Generals' first recipient of the honor since Mike Wilson in June of 2008, when the club was known as the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx.
Franklin led the Southern League with a .394 average (28-for-71), which ranked eighth in all of Minor League Baseball in May. He also led the league with a .457 on-base percentage and a .648 slugging percentage, adding up to a 1.105 OPS (on-base plus slugging) that was good for second in Double A.
Particularly devastating at Pringles Park, Franklin recorded a hit in all 10 home games in which he had a plate appearance during May. During that span, the switch-hitting Franklin batted .472 (17-for-36) with nine extra-base hits.
Overall, the 21-year-old Franklin hit safely in 17 of 20 games during the month with half of his 28 hits going for extra bases (10 doubles, 4 triples). He produced two triples and a double as part of a 4-for-4 performance against the Mobile BayBears on May 18 and turned in another 4-for-4 effort eight days later. On May 28, Franklin began a period for which he earned Southern League Player of the Week honors by legging out a pair of triples against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
In addition to his hitting prowess, Franklin stole six bases in as many attempts and committed just one error during the month. Last week, Franklin was named the shortstop for the North Division in the 2012 Southern League All-Star Game.
Chosen by the Seattle Mariners with the 27th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Franklin led the Class-A Midwest League with 23 home runs in his first full professional season. Franklin was promoted to Jackson in June of last season and began his Double-A career with an 11-game hitting streak, recording multiple hits in each of his first five games.