The Loop

The Kid's Alright

Wander Franco, the number-one prospect in all of baseball, got called up to The Show and promptly tore it a new one

June 23, 2021

Julio Aguilar

You really have to hand it to the Tampa Bay Rays. Playing in an empty and decrepit dome amidst constant relocation rumors, they have quietly become one of the most functional franchises in baseball. They made the World Series in 2020 with a Costco payroll, turned around and sold an ace in his prime, and somehow didn’t miss a beat, battling for the top of an absolutely stacked AL East this season. Oh, and they did all that with the number-one prospect in all of baseball biding his time in their farm system.

His name? Wander Franco.

That’s Franco logging his first-ever big-league hit in his first-ever big-league game on Tuesday night. The 362-foot sweet Valencia orange sent the unusually packed Trop into hysterics, but it wasn’t even the beginning of his ridiculous evening. The natural shortstop, playing third in his debut, also turned a double play late in the tie game . . .

. . . after doubling off the wall in the 7th.

Since we're here, we should also probably mention that he also drew a walk and drove in three. If that isn’t the greatest MLB debut this century, then educate us, because we honestly don’t know what is.

The Rays would end up losing in the 11th inning, but this is the rare case where that doesn’t really matter. They got a their look at their future on Tuesday night and, whether it’s in Tampa Bay or Montreal or somewhere in between, the future looks bright . . . well, unless they suddenly trade him that is.