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Highly anticipated Wander Franco to make Rays debut vs. Red Sox

Wander Franco
Posted at 11:11 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 23:25:55-04

It's a Wanderful day for some baseball: that's how the Tampa Bay Rays Twitter account is describing the first day with the highly anticipated Wander Franco as a member of the team.

Franco is the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in baseball. He entered the season ranked by Baseball America and as the No. 1 overall prospect for a second straight year.

So needless to say, there is a serious buzz among Rays fans when talking about the young infielder.

Franco will make his MLB debut Tuesday during the first game of the Rays' three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Rays Manager Kevin Cash has the newest addition to his squad batting second and playing third base.

Franco is still just 20 years old but was tearing up the minor leagues, hitting 315/.367/.586 (51-for-162) with 11 doubles, six triples, seven home runs, 35 RBI and five stolen bases in 39 games this season for Durham, including .371 (26-for-70) with three home runs and 17 RBI since the beginning of June and a 14-game hitting streak from June 1-17. Through Saturday, he led Triple-A East with 24 extra-base hits, was tied for first with 35 RBI and ranked among league leaders in avg. (.323, second), runs (30, third), hits (51, second), doubles (11, tied for seventh), triples (6, first), total bases (95, second), slugging pct. (.601, fifth) and on-base plus slugging pct. (.977, fifth).

He will become the second-youngest player in Rays history at the time of his debut for the club. B.J. Upton was 19 years, 11 months and 10 days old when he debuted in 2004.

It's a Wanderful time to be a Rays fan indeed, and perhaps the arrival of such a highly-anticipated prospect will turn things around for Tampa Bay, which is coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners and has now lost six straight games.