I wasn't really expecting Catricala to show up here, because he's just not the type to make a lot of league lists, but the BA folks did put SS Nick Franklin at #12 on their Top 20 Cal League Prospects list
, so it's not as though we went without adequate representation.
There's only so much that I think can be reasonably said about this particular ranking. It's not necessarily a good ranking, or founded in good reasoning, but to set Franklin a few spots higher would create its own set of issues. It's not the scouting report that interests me, because it has the same broad strokes we have read in every Franklin scouting report to date: he's aggressive, makes good contact, probably doesn't have as much power as last season would have led people to believe, and is one of a number of middle infield prospects who draws complaints that he's a future second baseman due to lack of arm strength. Let's not pretend that any of this is new.
What interests me about the ranking is how little we actually know about Franklin after this season. In the Cal League, there was a process at times, one that I'd like to pump up as a big important thing when so many prospects that end in in High Desert develop tendencies that will only hurt them down the road. However, Franklin wasn't all that great even with the process, and in the month or so prior to his promotion, his walk rate and home/road splits had only been getting worse.. We all know what happened from there: he got promoted, ran a .387 wOBA through close to a hundred plate appearances, and then got hit in the head, went down with food poisoning, and contracted mono. There's even a suggestion in the BA list that Franklin's low power in the league was a symptom of the mono before he was officially diagnosed. Franklin did pretty darned well in the Southern League, but a lot of prospects have the capacity to do well or quite poorly in brief appearances in a new environment. It doesn't mean as much as we think it does in most cases.
I would argue that Franklin is probably going to end up as one of the more contentious prospects in the offseason. Some are going to look at him and see the middling performance in the Cal League and begin to write him off as a flash in the pan. Others are going to argue for context and bump up his ranking because his health issues were largely freak incidents and he remains very young for each level he's played at, sort of in the same way that Triunfel still found his way onto a lot of rankings. I don't know which side I come down on because neither assessment or set of expectations feels right to me at the moment. I suppose that people would prefer me to make an argument one way or another, but lacking quality information at present, I just don't want to do it. It's irresponsible.
Southern League rankings are coming next Wednesday, or somewhere in the vicinity of Wednesday.