Phillies have high hopes for Maikel Franco

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Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is expected to be the next big hit for the Phillies. (WPVI)

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is expected to be the next big hit for the Phillies.

Just like Ryan Howard used to do, the Phillies believe Franco can hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs.

"I want to get better every single day, and I just want to keep working hard every single day," said Franco.

As a rookie last season, Franco hit 280 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs in just 80 games.

He's only 23 years old, but he could be the best Phillies third basemen since Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.

"He's much better now than I was at his age... and that's the God's honest truth," said Schmidt.

Franco was in the conversation for Rookie of the Year until he broke his wrist last August, and missed two months thanks to a pitch by Jeremy Hellickson who ironically is now his Phillies teammate.

"I felt terrible when it happened, you know, even worse when I found out I'd be playing with him," said Hellickson.

"He didn't do it on purpose," said Franco. "It's part of the game."
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