Franchy Cordero may be a surprise player to look for in the 2023 season. After a rough 2021 and 2022 season, Cordero was released by the Red Sox and then signed by the Baltimore Orioles. Unfortunately, his time in Baltimore was short-lived, as he was designated for assignment after only six games. Finally, however, the Yankees saw something in him and signed him, similar to what they did last year with Matt Carpenter.
Fast forward to now, and Cordero has been one of the most surprising players in the league.
Cordero struggled mightily at the plate in 2021, batting .183/.243/.419 with a .662 OPS and an 81 OPS+. His strikeout rate was an alarming 36.4%, and he hit just six home runs in 136 plate appearances.
Looking at Cordero’s statistics from the 2022 season, they could have been better, too. In a total of 275 plate appearances, he batted just .219/.300/.395 with a .697 OPS and a 91 OPS+.
However, this year has been a different story. In his first 23 plate appearances with the Yankees, Cordero is batting .294/.368/.706 with a 1.074 OPS and a 195 OPS+. He already has two home runs, which surpasses the number of homers he had in 2021.
In the world of baseball, there is always a player who emerges from relative obscurity and becomes a breakout star. This season, that player could be Franchy Cordero. Recently released from Baltimore, Cordero has shown signs of promise early in the 2023 season.
In this list article, we will explore seven reasons why Franchy Cordero could be a surprise player to look for in the 2023 season. We will examine his statistics, versatility, potential, and more to uncover why he might be the next big thing for the Yankees.
Why Franchy Cordero Could be a Breakout Star in 2023
One of Cordero’s biggest strengths is his ability to play all three outfield positions. So far this season, he has split his time between right field and left field, but he has also played a suitable lot in the past. This gives the Yankees some flexibility in their lineup and allows them to mix and match depending on matchups and injuries.
He was once considered one of the top prospects in the Padres’ system and has shown flashes of brilliance. If he can continue to make adjustments at the plate and in the field, he could be a breakout player in 2023.
Cordero has always had impressive raw power but has struggled to tap into it at the major league level consistently. However, in 2023, he is putting it all together. He has a .706 slugging percentage (SLG) and a .412 isolated power (ISO), well above his career averages. In addition, his current ISO ranks in the top 10% of all MLB hitters.
READ MORE: Can Cordero help the Yankees hit their O/U?
Strong start to the 2023 season
As mentioned earlier, Cordero is off to a scorching hot start this season. He currently has a 1.074 OPS and a 195 OPS+, both among the best in the league.
One reason for Cordero’s early success could be a change in his swing. According to Statcast data, Cordero lowered his launch angle to 13.5 degrees this year. That may not seem a big difference, but it could be significant. Last year, Cordero had a tendency to hit fly balls and pop-ups, which led to a high number of outs. This year, he has been hitting the ball with more authority, resulting in more extra-base hits.
Another factor in Cordero’s success could be his improved plate discipline. He has increased his contact rate from 65.8% last year to 71.0% this year.
Of course, it’s still early in the season, and Cordero will need to sustain his success over a more extended period to prove that he’s a changed player. However, the early signs are encouraging. He has always had a ton of raw talent, and if he can put it together, he could be a valuable asset for the Yankees.
Promising Spring Training
Cordero’s performance in this year’s Spring Training was particularly impressive. In addition to his .413 batting average and 1.099 OPS, he also had two home runs, four doubles, and a triple in just 47 plate appearances. In addition, he looked comfortable at the plate and consistently made hard contact.
While spring training stats should always be taken with a grain of salt, it’s clear that Cordero was making some positive strides even before the regular season started.
Previous success in the minors
While Cordero has struggled to find consistent success at the major league level, he has been a productive hitter in the minors. He has a career of .797 OPS in the minors, including a .936 OPS at the AAA level. This suggests that he has the potential to be a productive major-league hitter if he can make the necessary adjustments.
Yankees’ Development History
The Yankees have a long history of developing players and getting the most out of their talents. One recent example is Gio Urshela, a journeyman infielder before joining the Yankees and developing into one of the best defensive third basemen in the league. If the Yankees can help Cordero adjust and tap into his potential, he could be a valuable asset for years.
It’s worth noting that Cordero’s defense has also been an issue in the past. Last year, he had -3 defensive runs saved (DRS) rating in 34 games in the outfield. However, he has already made a highlight-reel catch for the Yankees, so perhaps he’s also made some improvements there.
It’s also worth noting that Cordero is only 28 years old, so he still has plenty of time to develop and reach his potential. However, he was once considered one of the top prospects in the Padres’ system and has shown flashes of brilliance. If he can continue to make adjustments at the plate and in the field, he could be a breakout player in 2023.
Of course, there are also some risks involved with Cordero. He has a history of injuries, including a concussion that sidelined him for much of the 2022 season. He also has a career strikeout rate of 34.6%, well above the league average. However, the potential rewards could be significant if he can stay healthy and make the necessary adjustments. His combination of power and athleticism is rare, and if he can put it all together, he could be a breakout star for the Yankees in the 2023 season and beyond.
Of course, there are also some risks involved with Cordero. He has a history of injuries, and he’s still striking out at a high rate (32.9% so far this year). Additionally, he’s been a streaky player in the past, and it remains to be seen if he can sustain his success over a more extended period.
Overall, Franchy Cordero is a player to watch in 2023. He has the raw talent to be a difference-maker and has shown some promising signs early this season. The Yankees have a history of developing players and getting the most out of their talents, so perhaps they saw something in Cordero that other teams didn’t.
He has already shown some promising signs early on with the Yankees, and if he can continue to make adjustments and stay healthy, he could be a valuable asset to the team. Of course, some risks are also involved, including his injury history and high strikeout rate. However, the potential rewards could be significant, and it will be interesting to see how he develops throughout the season.
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