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Roger Brown's On Baseball: Reading's Maikel Franco a hot shot
Reading Fightin Phils third baseman Maikel Franco takes batting practice before playing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester Monday. (MARK BOLTON/UNION LEADER)
Since being promoted from Single-A Clearwater of the Florida State League, Franco has hit .471 (8 for 17) with two home runs, a triple and five RBIs in four games. He had four hits, four RBIs and scored twice in Sunday’s 14-6 triumph over Richmond.
“He’s a pretty well put together player right now for a 20-year-old at this level,” Reading manager Dusty Wathan said. “He has very good balance at the plate. He’s got power. I think he can hit for average. He doesn’t swing and miss often.
“I was so excited (when he was promoted). My first reaction was to call my family in the Dominican and say, ‘Dad, I got another level now.’
“The first four games here I’ve played good. I’m so happy for that.”
Franco hit .299 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs in 65 games with Clearwater this season before he was promoted. He spent 2012 with Single-A Lakewood (N.J.), where he batted .280 with 14 home runs, 84 RBIs and 32 doubles in 132 games.
According to multiple reports, rehabbing shortstop Jose Reyes (ankle) is scheduled to be with the Fisher Cats for Wednesday night’s game against Reading. Reyes was scheduled to play his final game with Triple-A Buffalo on Monday night and then fly to Boston on Tuesday. He will likely join Toronto for the Blue Jays’ series against the Red Sox that begins Thursday.
Marcus Walden tossed a complete-game shutout in New Hampshire’s 7-0 triumph over Harrisburg on Sunday. It was the first complete-game shutout by a New Hampshire pitcher since Kyle Drabek tossed a no-hitter on July 4, 2010. … Entering Monday’s game, New Hampshire catcher A.J. Jimenez had collected at least one hit in each of his 11 games with the Fisher Cats. He was 21-for-47 (.447) during that span, and had thrown out all three runners who had attempted to steal against him. … Reading first baseman Jim Murphy began the week leading the Eastern League in home runs (15).