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Maikel Franco (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Maikel Franco (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

The Philadelphia Phillies will be met with an interesting dilemma come the end of the 2017 season. The dilemma they will face is, whether or not they should pursue a long-term deal with third baseman, Maikel Franco. The answer to that question will most likely be decided based on Franco’s performance and development this year.

Franco was one of the players the Phillies really thought would take over as one of the premier bats in the lineup last year. While Franco was certainly performing better than most, he did not make the jump that many hoped and anticipated that it he would.

Last year, Franco managed to put together 25 home runs with 88 RBI’s, but only a .255 batting average. The average seems to be what is really holding him back, and took a significant falloff from his rookie year when it was .280.

Still, Franco is relatively young meaning that many of the issues that he may be having in the batters box might be able to work themselves out over time. That is certainly what the Phillies must be hoping.

On the field, Franco’s glove has been a pleasant surprise. It is safe to say that he will probably never be a gold-glover at the position, but he holds his own well at the hot corner. Many scouts thought he would have trouble staying at third in the majors, so far though there does not seem to be a problem.

The Phillies are going to have a lot of money to spend in free agency next season, but unfortunately for Franco, there will be a lot of top names on the market. If the Phillies can sign just one of them and Franco does not perform up to par with what the staff is looking for, he may be headed to another team come the 2018 season.

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