Rays' Franco heading up to Stone Crabs

Baseball's top overall prospect promoted to Florida State League

In less than two seasons of pro ball, Wander Franco sports a .335 average with 88 runs and 86 RBIs. (Chris Robertson/MiLB.com)

By Katie Woo / MiLB.com | June 23, 2019 10:39 PM

Baseball's top prospect is one step closer to the big leagues.

After recording his fifth triple of the year for Class A Bowling Green on Sunday, baseball's top prospect Wander Franco was promoted to the Florida State League. He is expected to join Charlotte on Tuesday.

Franco has dazzled through his first full year of professional ball so far. In 62 games for Class A Bowling Green, he posted a .318/.390/.506 slash line. The switch-hitter ranked second in the Midwest League in batting average while tallying 16 doubles, six homers and 29 RBIs. Born on March 1, 2001, the 18-year-old will become the youngest player in Class A Advanced by one year.

Per team sources, the move will become official Tuesday, the same day Franco will be in uniform for the Stone Crabs. The promotion came on the heels of a Midwest League All-Star berth. In his Hot Rods finale, he tripled, walked and scored once.

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Franco entered the preseason rankings 13th overall, but moved into the top spot when San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. lost his prospect status. Franco signed at age 16 with the Rays for $3,825,000 and made the jump from the Dominican Republic to the United States the following year. Considerably younger than much of his opponents, Franco still hit .351 with a 1.004 OPS while swatting 11 big flies for the Rookie Advanced Princeton Rays. He led the Appalachian League with 75 RBIS and 87 hits en route to being named the circuit's MVP at 17 before debuting with the Hot Rods this season.

Now he'll look to aid the Stone Crabs, joining sixth-ranked Rays prospect Vidal Brujan and No. 7 Ronaldo Hernandez. Brujan stands 79th in MLB.com's overall rankings, one spot ahead of Hernandez.

Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter View More