Franco assigned to minor league camp

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Third baseman Maikel Franco, the Phillies top prospect, has been assigned to minor league camp. This is no surprise. Franco, 21, would have had to make a strong impression in order to stay on the big league roster.

He split last season at Clearwater and Reading, combining for 31 home runs, 103 RBIs and a .926 OPS.

This spring he struggled at the plate, batting .184 and failing to get an extra base hit in 38 at-bats. Manager Ryne Sandberg talked the other day about Franco having “too big a swing” and needing to cut his swing down.

As expected, Cody Asche will bea at third and he ha also struggled this spring, batting .139 but Asche does have two home runs.

Besides Franco, the Phillies also reassigned righthander Sean O’Sullivan and outfielder Clete Thomas to the minor league camp.

That leaves the Phillies with 40 players in the major league camp, including nine non-roster invitees.