Among AL rookies, Franklin is first in home runs with 10, first in RBIs with 32, second in slugging average with .492, third in on-base percentage with .340 and sixth in hits with 54. Much of the rookie buzz this season has centered around Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Franklin is putting up equally impressive numbers and helping the Mariners inch ever closer to the .500 mark.
The team is relying on its young core of hitters, including Brad Miller, Mike Zunino, Kyle Seager, Justin Smoak, Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley to propel them into the future.
Because their team is so young, the Mariners aren’t likely to be very busy as the trade deadline approaches. Their only trade-worthy players are the veterans they signed to single-year deals during the winter of 2012 and spring of 2013. Franklin represents the best of the young Mariners who may become franchise players in the next 3-5 years if they continue to perform. Seager is becoming a star in Seattle and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him elected as an All-Star within three years.
With the numbers Franklin is putting up, it isn’t hard to see him as an All-Star as well. His success and that of other young Mariners have perhaps vindicated the front office decisions by GM Jack Zduriencik over the last few years.
Mariners fans have been more than patient in waiting for their team to develop into a contender, and with the recent performances of their young core of players, they are finally starting to reap the benefits of that patience.