Washington Nationals Editorial: Is Anthony Rendon The Best Third Baseman In NL East?

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Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

 #2 – Maikel Franco – Philadelphia Phillies

In a year where rookies were able to burst onto the scene in the National League, Franco’s season might have been overlooked. After playing in 16 games in 2014, the 23-year-old made an impact on a struggling offense in his first full season. In 80 games, Franco had a slash line of .280/.343/.497 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI’s.

During the month of June, Franco hit .352 with eight home runs and 24 RBI’s to win NL Rookie of the Month. He had the second most RBI’s of any third baseman in the NL that month (Arenado – 33) and was third in home runs behind Todd Frazier (9) and Arenado (12).

If you look at how Franco’s numbers stacked up amongst other NL rookies, he was top ten in home runs, RBI’s, on-base percentage, slugging percentage (fourth), and .OPS (.840). Among third baseman, he was tied for eighth in home runs, ninth in on-base percentage, and sixth in slugging percentage.

If there is one area where Franco does need to improve, it’s his defense. Last season, he had 11 errors and -8 runs saved. Nevertheless, there is a lot of buzz around Franco after a good rookie season, which could have been even better had he not been out from August 11-October 3 because of breaking his left wrist when being hit by a pitch. While you can never predict a sophomore slump, Franco is number two on this list, which when you think about it, might be the highest spot a Phillies’ player finishes on any of these top five rankings.