Franchy Cordero has the opportunity to make a significant impact with the San Diego Padres this year, and one of his teammates is taking notice.
As the San Diego Padres try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together this season, a healthy Fernando Tatis Jr. will go a long way in helping the team achieve their goals. Last year, the rookie sensation was limited to just 84 games and was eventually shut down because of a fracture in his back.
Now fully healed and heading into year two, Tatis and Manny Machado will form one of the best left sides of the infield in baseball. The duo has also been more vocal early on in Spring Training, which is positive to see some leaders start to emerge for this young core of players.
One of those players is Franchy Cordero, who has struggled to remain healthy in three big league seasons. He’s tallied just 79 games during that span and has consistently been labeled as a “what if” player. The former international free agent has consistently shown flashes of the player is capable of when healthy and hits the ball incredibly hard.
Cordero has a career 45.3 hard-hit percentage, including 51.9 percent during the 2018 season. According to Statcast, of the 85 batted balls that year, 42 of them were registered at 95 mph or greater. And his teammates, particularly Tatis, speak volumes about him heading into this year:
"“If has a chance, he’s going to outplay me. He has more tools than me. He has way more power than me, and the speed is about the same level. If he stays healthy, he can be one of the best players in the game, simple as that.”"
That’s a pretty remarkable review from one of the league’s best young players. Cordero will be battling it out in Spring Training with newcomer, Trent Grisham, for the starting center field position, but he’ll likely have an opportunity to collect quite a few at-bats in right field as well.
I like to believe that Cordero will remain healthy this year so that he can finally unlock his potential. However, his track record leaves a considerable amount of doubt that he can do so.