- Full name Franchy Cordero
- Born 09/02/1994 in Azua, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- Debut 05/27/2017
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Padres signed Cordero for $175,000 as a shortstop when he was 17, but moved him to center field after he made 126 errors in 165 games. The move unlocked increased confidence and a sharp uptick in production, as Cordero shot through three levels in 2016 and made his major league debut in 2017. Cordero is a lithe athlete with exceptional first-step quickness and long strides. He is a plus-plus runner underway, finishing behind only Billy Hamilton, Byron Buxton and Bradley Zimmer among major league center fielders in sprint speed, as measured by Statcast. Cordero uses that speed to chase down long flies as an above-average defender in center field and make an impact on the bases. He tied for the minor-league lead with 18 triples and delivered his second straight season with at least 20 doubles, 10 triples, 10 home runs and 15 steals at Triple-A El Paso. While he hits for impact and can fly, Cordero rarely walks and doesn't control the strike zone, limiting his overall offensive upside. He hits just enough, with his defense and speed, to be a second-division regular or oft-used extra outfielder. He'll get a shot at that role with the Padres in 2018.
The Padres signed Cordero for $175,000 as a 17-year old international free agent with the idea of making him a shortstop, but they moved him to the outfield after he made 126 errors in 165 career games at short. In his first full year in the outfield in 2016, Cordero showed exceptional first-step quickness and range, plus speed and an above-average arm, making him an above-average defender almost immediately. Freed from the burden of his infield mistakes, Cordero also eased up at the plate and had his best season yet, with 24 doubles, 16 triples, 11 home runs and 23 stolen bases as he moved from high Class A Lake Elsinore all the way to Triple-A El Paso. Cordero's struggles controlling the strike zone make him a fringe-average hitter in the eyes of evaluators, but as an above-average defender hitting from the left side with plus speed has a chance to be a valuable fourth outfielder in the majors--if not more. He will begin 2017 at Triple-A and could join San Diego before long.
Cordero's batting potential electrified scouts in 2013, when he led the Rookie-level Arizona League in slugging (.511). Much of that goodwill evaporated in 2014 when acute throwing problems led to 51 errors in 55 games at shortstop. Cordero hit just .188 in 24 games at low Class A Fort Wayne in 2014 before being reassigned to extended spring training in late April. He regrouped at short-season Eugene in the second half, showing above-average power--his nine homers tied for third in the Northwest League--but also a long swing that contributed to a strikeout rate of 29 percent. His present strength and frequent hard contact give him a chance to hit at least .250 with solid-average power if he reaches his ceiling. He runs well for his size, but despite a strong arm, his poor footwork, hard hands and scatter arm could move him to third base or, just as likely, right field. Cordero will try the Midwest League again in 2015.
Trainer Antonio Arias presented Cordero to teams as a third baseman, but when the Padres signed him for $175,000 in November 2011 they determined that his athleticism would allow him to play shortstop. While the lean, 6-foot-3 Cordero might one day outgrow the position, he has the first-step quickness, range, sure hands and above-average arm to stay there for the foreseeable future. In his U.S. debut in 2013, he tied for the Rookie-level Arizona League lead in slugging (.511) while also finishing among the leaders in average (.333) and OPS (.891). The rare lefthanded hitter from the Dominican Republic, Cordero has exciting offensive potential thanks to plus bat speed and an innate feel to hit. When he barrels the ball it travels a long way with big-time carry, leading some to project above-average power to go with a strong batting average. He's also an above-average runner who went a perfect 11-for-11 on steals in the AZL and will leg out his share of doubles and triples. Like many young shortstops, Cordero suffers from occasional lapses in focus, but overall he has five-tool talent with the luxury of having time on his side to hone his skills. No lefty-hitting Dominican shortstop ever has played in the major leagues--and the number of second and third basemen totals just four players--so Cordero is fighting history as he advances to low Class A Fort Wayne.
Minor League Top Prospects
The converted shortstop wowed in his first full year playing the outfield by demonstrating picturesque long strides in center field with exemplary speed, rapidly developing instincts and an above-average arm. Cordero also flourished at the plate, hitting .290/.344/.450 with 11 home runs and 23 stolen bases across three levels as he worked his way up to Triple-A El Paso. "As far as his tools, they were there," Bakersfield manager Eddie Menchaca said. "He showed flashes of what he could be: a true center fielder and leadoff-type hitter with speed." Cordero's plate discipline remains a work in progress. He recorded poor rates for walks and strikeouts in the Cal League, but his above-average speed, lefthanded bat and good glove give him at least fourth-outfielder potential.
A disaster at shortstop early in his career, Cordero is quickly turning into an accomplished center fielder. His breaks on the ball can continue to improve but his plus speed has helped him become an average center fielder with room to grow. Cordero has significant swing and miss thanks to his aggressive approach, but he barrels the ball well and is starting to turn his plus raw power into at least average productive power. He has plenty of upside still to access, but even where Cordero is right now is intriguing.
One of the most divisive prospects in the NWL, Cordero attracts attention with his bat, his size and surprising power. Signed for just $175,000, he has athleticism but league managers agree his days at shortstop are numbered. Cordero committed 33 errors in 36 games with Eugene and that was with the benefit of at-times generous official scoring at home. He also made 18 errors in 20 games at low Class A Fort Wayne prior to his demotion to Eugene in June. Some attribute the defensive problems to a lack of confidence, while others suggest his hands and feet are just not good enough to get the job done. He projects as an outfielder, perhaps a right fielder if his power matures. Cordero hit nine home runs, tied for third in the league, and he showed power to the opposite-field gap and an ability to punish mistakes. He expands his strike zone at times when he was pitched around in a poor Eugene lineup, and his swing has holes. He also has plus arm strength and the speed to profile in right field down the line.
Signed for $175,000 in November 2011, Cordero spent his first pro season in 2012 in the Dominican Summer League and this season helped the AZL Padres reach the postseason. The lefthanded-hitting shortstop finished fourth in the AZL in batting, second in OPS (.891) and tied for first in slugging. Cordero has a solid feel for hitting with good bat speed. He?ll add more power as he fills out his lanky frame, though the ball already jumps off his bat with some extra pop. He?s projected to hit for both average and power. Defensively, he gets to balls that other shortstops can?t get thanks in part to above-average speed, although he occasionally loses focus on the field. Cordero has an above-average arm and could handle third base if he grows too big for shortstop. ?He seems to have an extra gear,? Padres manager Michael Collins said. ?When needed, you see it kick in and you say, ?That was something different.??