While he was up with the Red Sox for the first nine weeks of the major-league season, one thing that hindered Franchy Cordero was his ability to find regular playing time. in the outfield.
Cordero did play in 34 of Boston’s first 48 games, but he only accrued 102 plate appearances while doing so. He also started just four of the club’s last 11 games prior to getting optioned to Triple-A Worcester on May 27.
In his first 34 games with the Sox, the 26-year-old outfielder struggled to the tune of a .179/.228/.274 slash line to go along with just one home run, six doubles, nine RBI, nine runs scored, six walks, and 37 strikeouts. It took until May 23 for him to hit his first homer.
Those difficulties at the big-league level surely played a role in Cordero being sent down by the Red Sox, but the club also took action in order to get the left-handed hitter more consistent at-bats in Worcester.
“It was getting hard to get him at-bats and, although he’s important for us in the present, he’s very important for us in the future,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained to reporters last month. “He hasn’t played a lot the last few years. For him to go down there and get at-bats — consistent at-bats — and keep improving on swing decisions and controlling the strike zone, it’s very important.”
Cordero, one of five players the Red Sox acquired in the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, does not have much major-league experience for someone his age.
Originally signed by the Padres out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, the former top prospect has dealt with his fair share of injuries over the years and as a result played in just 95 games between San Diego and Kansas City from 2017-2020.
Not only that, but Cordero had just 121 career games under his belt at the Triple-A level prior to getting dealt to the Sox over the winter.
With those factors in mind, the Red Sox obviously felt it would be best for Cordero to reset with the WooSox, and that decision has payed off thus far.
Following a 2-for-4 showing against the Rochester Red Wings in which he hit two doubles and drove in two runs at Polar Park on Sunday afternoon, Cordero is now slashing a sizzling .378/.410/.838 with four home runs, three doubles, one triple, nine RBI, seven runs scored, two walks, and 10 strikeouts through his first nine games with the WooSox. He has primarily been batting out of the three-hole for Worcester.
“[I’m] working on everything I need to be working on consistently and keeping that mindset, bringing it down here and putting everything together and making sure it works,” Cordero told MassLive.com’s Katie Morrison on Friday. “[I’m] keeping that consistency and making sure that the results are the way I want them to be.”
Seeing how he has seemingly found his groove with Worcester, it’s safe to assume Cordero has caught the attention of those who played a role in his acquisition — as well as his demotion, including Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
“He has displayed some of the incredible talent that he has that for various reasons he just wasn’t able to get to consistently in the time he was up here with us ,”Bloom said of Cordero earlier Sunday afternoon. “As frustrating as it is to live that with him when he was struggling up in the big-leagues, it also speaks to the value of making sure that we’re turning over every rock developmentally to get him right.
“He’s young enough and talented enough that we owe it to him — we owe it to ourselves — to do everything we can to get him on a good track,” added Bloom. “He has power that can change a game. He’s a good athlete. He can run. He can defend. All the pieces are there. We just have to help him get to a place where he’s got a chance to play enough at the big-league level for him to produce. And getting him regular at-bats right now is the best way we can do that, and we’re glad he’s been able to take advantage of it so far.”
(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Katie Morrison/MassLive)