On Sunday, it was announced that Wander Franco, baseball’s top prospect for the past two seasons and the top prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays system, was called up to the big league team.
The move was done ahead of the Boston Red Sox series, one the Rays will need to win after a six-game losing skid at the hands of the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners.
Franco has been one of the most exciting talents the Rays and baseball has seen and the hype surrounding the 20-year old phenom from the Dominican Republic has been insane to put it lightly.
That brings up the question we posed as the headline of this article, which might sound stupid, but it’s 100% a valid question to ask: how hype should Rays fans be for Wander Franco?
To start, there are a few answers to this question, the first one being that we should be incredibly excited and hype for Franco. His debut will probably be the most-anticipated debut in franchise history.
It tops that of Matt Moore and Evan Longoria for sure, at least in our eyes, and with the accolades that he’s received so far and the highlights we’ve seen of him through the minors, it’s warranted.
Franco has the ability to be a franchise cornerstone and a generational talent, a player that baseball fans will talk about for generations. That’s not an exaggeration either.
We can be extremely hype for his call-up, but also, we should make sure to stay on Earth and be realistic about Franco.
When he makes his big league debut, hopefully on Tuesday, we don’t know what we’re going to see. We can predict it for sure, but once he steps out on the field, we’ll actually be able to start getting a gauge for his talent level at an MLB level.
If he’s going to stay up for good, he’s going to have a strong rookie season no doubt. He’s going to help boost the Rays, who are going through a rough patch right now and need a jolt of energy.
This question, the headline of this article, is more for what’s next after Wander, which is why Rays fans should be incredibly excited.
We saw the first of those players come up in May, Taylor Walls, who will be the shortstop of the future, taking the place of Willy Adames, who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Franco is the next piece to come up, one that Rays fans weren’t expecting to debut this early in the season. It seemed like Vidal Brujan or Josh Lowe would be the next prospect to debut.
We also saw Kevin Padlo come up early in the 2021 season and has since been sent back down to Triple-A Durham, where he’s been incredible so far.
It still doesn’t seem real that Franco has been called up, and it won’t set in until he actually plays with the Rays uni on.
He’s the biggest name to come up that Rays fans have been expecting, but don’t sleep on Brujan and Lowe. Amongst the group at Rays The Roof, we already knew Franco was going to be exciting, but it was Brujan who we were most excited to see.
Brujan has looked incredible so far in Triple-A and is an excellent fielder. Then, we have Lowe, hopefully the center fielder of the future because it seems that Kevin Kiermaier’s time on the team is slowly coming to an end.
He’s been mashing at the plate and like Brujan, is a stellar defensive player. Those are just the position players, however, as the Rays have plenty more pitching prospects to get very excited for.
Joe Ryan, Drew Strotman, Shane Baz, and the hopeful returns of Brent Honeywell Jr. and Luis Patino to the big league roster after stints on the Rays earlier this season.
Franco’s call-up caught most everyone by surprise, but what a fantastic surprise it was. He’s going to be excited, but don’t hype him up too much because he’s got a lot of friends in the minors who we’ll be seeing very soon on the major league roster.
The hype is just beginning.