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COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAY 23 SEC Baseball Tournament - Missouri vs Auburn

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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 88: Zach Franklin

In the 10th round this past summer, the White Sox unearthed a unique arm

In Zach Franklin, we have ourselves a funky reliever.
| Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Zach Franklin

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
198 pounds
Age: 25
2022 High Level Kannapolis (Low-A)
Age relative to high level +2.4 years
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system 13
Overall 2023 stats 0-0 ⚾️ 11 games (1 finished) ⚾️ 11 1⁄3 innings ⚾️ 7.15 ERA ⚾️ 1.676 WHIP ⚾️ 18 K ⚾️ 6 BB

Zach Franklin was a sixth-year pitcher at Missouri after spending his first five college seasons at Western Carolina. Franklin mainly served as a back-end reliever for the Tigers, but he saw his walk rate jump more than 2% and his HR/FB% balloon from 6.3% to 20.6% in 2023. SEC bats are no joke.

Franklin featured two different fastball shapes in 2023, a traditional four-seamer and a sinker. Both sat in the mid-90s, but the former got solid results despite a roughly average movement profile, and the latter got absolutely tattooed. The spring for Franklin consisted of a ton of whiffs, but also plenty of damage.

Aside from his heaters, Franklin has a breaking ball that no one really knows what to call. It moves like a cutter/slider hybrid but has a shape like a traditional curveball. Whatever it is, it had a huge Whiff rate. He was able to induce a lot of swing-and-miss despite anything, other than above average velocity on both fastballs, that says he should generate those kind of results. There’s undoubtedly some pitch deception at play here, and when you watch Franklin pitch, it’s one of the shortest arm actions you’ll ever see on the mound. He almost looks like he’s throwing a shotput.

His split-changeup is another pitch that has largely average movement metrics, but it just flat-out worked, helping him to hold lefties to just a .219 batting average.

We got ourselves a funky reliever in the 10th round.

Franklin’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Strikeouts 79
Durability 75
Hittable 74
vs. Power 74
K/BB 73
Walks 56
Team Winning Percentage .386

Per the Ratings, Franklin has dominated relative to his peers. Given his older age, expect him to start at High-A Winston-Salem and get on a track up to Birmingham if his 2024 season is ideal.

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

88. Zach Franklin, RHRP
89. Jeremy González, LHSP
90. Jerry Burke, RHRP
91. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
92. Mikey Kane, 3B
93. Carlton Perkins, RHSP
94. Tyler Neslony, LF
95. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
96. Jason Matthews, SS
97. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
98. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
99. Daniel González, LHRP
100. Elier Gil, C

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