Christian Franklin – Pic by Stephanie Lynn

Deep within the Cubs system, there is something brewing that is going to come to a boil in 2023. That something was missing all of 2022 and fans in Myrtle Beach or South Bend are going to get quite the treat when Christian Franklin gets the greenlight to play baseball full-time.

The Cubs took Franklin out of Arkansas in the 2021 draft in the fourth round. Since then, he’s seen limited action. The former All-American centerfielder was rated as a top 50 prospect heading into his 2021 junior season. He got off to a poor start but he did rebound well enough for the Cubs to take him in the fourth round. Now that the is healthy, he could be the breakout player of the year in 2023.

Here are five things that bode well for Franklin this summer.

1. Age

Even though Franklin did come out of college in 2021, he’s going to be 23 for most of 2023. Some people are still forgetting that Covid still has an impact on the average age of a minor leaguer and probably will for another year or two. It is not that uncommon to see a 23 or 24-year-old baseball player at High-A, especially one that came out of college

2. Defense

One of Franklin’s strong suits in college is his ability to play an outstanding centerfield. Considering who’s going to be a level or two in front of him, I would not be surprised to see him play more left and right fields or a combination to make himself more versatile.

3. Quick Twitch

One of the things I’ve noticed about Franklin in any video is how fast he can react to something in real time. Whether it’s a ball coming off the bat or how he reacts to a certain pitch, his ability to make a decision quickly is quite astounding. He can turn on a fastball just as fast as he can make an adjustment on his route for a flyball.

4. 2022 Draft

In what will be his first full season playing games that matter, Franklin is not going to be rushed by anybody coming up behind him because the Cubs did not go out and acquire or draft a lot outfielders last summer who are going to press him for a spot. He can just relax and play, and hopefully that will help propel him forward in the system without added pressure for a while. Considering that this is his year numero uno, that’s a good thing.

5. Does he have something to prove? 

Only Christian Franklin knows what’s going on inside his head. Only he knows how motivated he is to show what he can do and to make up for lost time. He’s never going to be able to do that but it’s weird how missing an entire season can mess with someone and cause them to do things they normally wouldn’t. The hardest thing for any ball player is to not play baseball. Franklin‘s Instagram pics from the last year show him rehabbing and spending a lot of time with his fiancé. Hopefully that kept him grounded but I can safely say he missed playing baseball a lot. But he’s got to have his head in the right place and space in 2023 for him to do well. He doesn’t really need to put pressure on himself, but he might feel like he has something to prove, but only he knows that for sure.

For me, Franklin is one of my guys to breakout along with Parker Cavers who are going to be pressuring the top 10 guys from behind. When Franklin realizes that he might be in the driver seat, that might be when he realizes he’s the one who doesn’t have to press.

Other 5 Series Posts