Wander Franco has been each bit the highest prospect followers anticipated when the Rays promoted him.
The 20-year-old shortstop reached base in 39 straight video games earlier than a hamstring damage sidelined him for almost two weeks in September. He picked proper again up the place he left off, doubling and taking a stroll in his first recreation again on Sept. 24 earlier than doubling and tripling on Sept. 26 to increase his on-base streak to 41 video games. It is the longest on-base streak by any participant this season and the second-longest by a participant youthful than 21, behind solely Frank Robinson’s streak of 46 video games, in keeping with Stathead.
In a 162-game season, that 41-game streak means reaching base in almost 1 / 4 of the video games. The place does that put Franco among the many all-time nice streaks? Nonetheless a methods from the highest.
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Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak positive aspects a lot of the notoriety amongst streaks, however Ted Williams’ on-base streak is likely to be much more spectacular. The Splendid Splinter reached base in 84 straight video games from July 1 to Sept. 27, 1949. For reference, DiMaggio’s hitting streak coincided with a 74-game on-base streak, only one recreation longer than yet one more single span by Williams of 73 video games from 1941 by way of 1942.
It has been a very long time since anybody has actually threatened Williams’ on-base streak. However Franco is taken into account a particular expertise. Probably the greatest prospects evaluators have seen shortly. May he threaten Teddy Ballgame’s document? We’re looking at what it might absorb at present’s recreation, in addition to what made Williams able to reaching base so regularly.
Williams’ on-base streak
The numbers inside Williams’ streak are staggering.
Throughout his 84-game stretch, Williams had 30 multi-hit video games in comparison with simply 18 video games with a strikeout — solely as soon as hanging out twice in a recreation. He recorded a slash line of .371/.518/.695 with 24 dwelling runs, 112 hits and 92 walks. In half of these video games, he recorded at the very least one extra-base hit.
And whereas his longest hitting streak throughout that interval was simply 9 video games, he additionally by no means went back-to-back video games and not using a hit. All this whereas the Crimson Sox have been within the midst of a pennant chase with the Yankees.
His streak got here to an finish on Sept. 28 as Senators pitcher Ray Scarborough hurled a four-hit, one-run full recreation to offer Washington the 2-1 win. Williams was within the on-deck circle when the ultimate out was made.
The Crimson Sox misplaced the ultimate two video games of the season to the Yankees to fall a recreation behind New York within the standings, lacking out on the World Collection. The Yankees went on to win the World Collection in 5 video games over the Dodgers.
Williams was named AL MVP, ending the yr with a .343/.490/.650 slash line with 43 dwelling runs, 159 RBIs, 150 runs scored and 162 walks.
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Chasing Williams’ document
Since that streak got here to an finish, nobody has come remotely near Williams.
In 2006, Orlando Cabrera reached in 63 straight video games. That’s the longest streak for anybody reaching base — with out an error — since Williams’ epic run.
There have been a number of spectacular on-base streaks because the flip of the century, however none all that near 84. Listed below are the eight longest because the begin of the 2000 season, in keeping with Stathead.
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Since 2010, solely Shin-Soo Choo at 52 (2018) has even reached 50 video games.
Reaching base night time after night time is difficult, particularly because the depth of scouting experiences improves. So what does Franco — or any participant within the league — must do to problem Williams and his document?
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Can Franco break Williams’ document?
Can Franco do it? Can anybody do it?
It is a tall job. It is likely to be a tougher streak than the hitting streak. Mike Trout has been the very best participant of the previous 10 years. His longest on-base streak is 40 video games. Joey Votto has been the on-base king. His longest streak is 48. Albert Pujols additionally reached 48. Juan Soto has been among the many finest within the recreation at reaching base since he debuted, and whereas he has three separate streaks of reaching base 21 instances in a row, he has but to get previous that time.
Franco has been considered an elite expertise. Evaluators virtually unanimously graded him as having an 80-grade — highest potential — hit software when he was a prospect, a feat which previous to Franco had virtually by no means been heard of.
He hit over .300 at each stage of the minors regardless of being one of many youngest gamers at every cease. He walked 97 instances to solely 75 strikeouts in his MiLB profession and posted an on-base proportion of .399.
Franco has put collectively an on-base streak of 41 video games that already is tied for the forty second longest since 2000. He is solely 20, and can solely get higher within the massive leagues as he will get older.
Nonetheless, it is solely going to get harder to succeed in base in that many video games. With the development of scouting experiences and elevated pitch velocity, it’s tougher than ever to succeed in base persistently on the massive league stage. There is a motive why nobody in almost 70 years has even come inside 20 video games of tying Williams.
Franco would not strike out. He takes walks. He makes a ton of contact. He hits the ball laborious. He is quick. He appears pretty much as good a wager as any to perform the feat from a pure profile standpoint.
Can Franco do it? It is definitely potential. Will he, although? Quite a bit will need to go proper for Franco to succeed in that lofty document.