Update, 1st AB — Franco took a walk in his first MLB at-bat on Tuesday night vs. the Red Sox. He did end up scoring on a single and throwing error, so the Rays are up 2-0 early on.
The Tampa Bay Rays called up No. 1 overall prospect Wander Franco on Monday and he’ll make his MLB debut batting second and playing third base on Tuesday night as the team begins a series with the Boston Red Sox. Franco is the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com and Fangraphs.
#Rays lineup vs. #RedSox, at the start of something: pic.twitter.com/wEfg66YrLy— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 22, 2021
Franco, 20, had been batting .315 with 7 HRs and 35 RBI for the Durham Bulls in Triple-A before getting the call. The Rays enter Tuesday having lost six straight games to drop to 43-30 and out of first place in the AL East, 0.5 game behind the Red Sox. So with this series being relatively important, the Rays are bringing up Franco to try and spark the offense.
Believe it or not, DraftKings did not prepare themselves for Franco much. As of now, he’s only min-priced at $2,000 for his MLB debut. This is going to make Franco one of the most popular players on the Tuesday night slate by a wide margin. While Franco is a phenom and will likely join the ranks of the young superstars of baseball along with Vlad Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr., etc. That may not happen right away. With that, it may be a decent idea to fade Franco on DraftKings in GPPs to gain some leverage. On the flip side, if he does produce in his debut, at min-price, he could end up being the top value on the slate.
If you’re in a deeper fantasy baseball league, chances are Franco is unavailable on the waiver wire. He is, however, only 78 percent owned on ESPN standard fantasy leagues, so there are some shallow leagues where you could scoop up Franco now. There’s no chance in hell he’s available in any keeper or dynasty leagues. Franco is worth picking up now if he’s available.