The Seattle Mariners, as you might have heard, are not exactly a run-scoring juggernaut. They currently rank 13th in the American League in OBP and slugging percentage. They've lost seven of their last 10 games, and the team's run differential is now -31. They just replaced Brendan Ryan with Robert Andino, which is sort of like replacing passionflower tea with chamomile.
The Mariners, in a nutshell, are not good.
But things are going a bit better for Seattle's Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers.
On Thursday, the Rainiers beat Zack Wheeler and the Vegas 51s in a game that gave us an absolutely loaded box-score: 25 runs, 27 hits, six errors, a 7-run ninth inning rally. Prospect Nick Franklin had a ridiculous line for Tacoma, reaching base six times in a 5-for-5 performance. The 22-year-old infielder is now batting an even .400 for the year with an OBP of .509. He's hit a pair of homers this season, plus he's swiped three bags in as many attempts.
Franklin entered the year ranked as a top-100 prospect by pretty much everyone, and his early performance has justified the hype. The kid has demonstrated double-digit power and speed potential at various levels; in 2010, he delivered a 23-homer, 25-steal season in the Midwest League. He's seen time at both short and second defensively, so it isn't too difficult to imagine a path to Seattle's lineup this year. (Seriously, the team is rolling with Robert Andino. Not even a joke.)
I won't recommend that you stash Franklin in your mixed league, not now — not ahead of guys like Myers, Arenado, Puig and Taveras. But he's a middle infielder capable of making noise in the second half, blocked by no one. Thus, he belongs on the fantasy radar. File away the name. And if you're a Mariners fan, um ... maybe just focus on the PCL for a little while.