Nick Franklin was taken in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners.
He was an instant success, rapidly rising through the minor leagues. He blasted 23 home runs and stole 25 bases in Single-A in 2010.
Then, Franklin put up a 151 wRC+ at Double-A in 2012 and a 147 wRC+ at Triple-A to start 2013. Shortly into 2013, Franklin made his big league debut.
Unfortunately, Franklin’s minor league success has yet to translate to the majors.
He hit .225 with 12 home runs, six stolen bases and a nice 10.2% walk rate in 102 games with the Mariners in 2013, good for a 0.8 fWAR.
Since then Franklin has played on four different teams, accruing 462 at-bats and slashing .206/.271/.342 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases.
Still, the 26-year-old has posted strong walk numbers in the majors and has seen his strikeout rate decrease from 27.4% in 2013 to 18.5% in 2017.
Franklin has served as a utility man in his career, playing every infield position and both corner outfield positions.
He graded out as a strong defender with a +2 DRS and a 35.6 UZR/150 at second base last season in 77 innings, although he has struggled there in the past.
There is reason to believe that a 26-year-old with strong minor league numbers could find his groove and display some of that power and speed that helped him ascend to the Majors so rapidly.
At the very least, he can be a serviceable replacement for Romine and will cost next to nothing as a minor league free agent signing.