Dodger Prospect #39 - Franklin Jacobs

While Bill Shelley is on medical leave, we continue our series, taking a look at his top Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best. Today- Prospect #39, 1B Franklin Jacobs.

When you see him it a ball, you look to see if "Wonderboy" is burned into the barrel and check to see if looks anything like Robert Redford. Franklin Christian Jacobs is 6-foot 5-inches tall and weighs 260. When he connects, the ball flies like a Dunlop Pro V. But the young man just turned 19 and has a lot to learn.

He was scouted by Division I college football teams during his sophomore year but stopped playing because he was determined to be a baseball player and didn't want an injury to curtail that.

He led his basketball team in rebounding and scoring but he never had any aspirations in that direction. "No, it was always baseball for me and I think I made the right choice."

And play baseball he did, setting school records in all directions and distance records that continue to grown as days go by, although he doesn't clam any of the stories about past dingers.

Opposing teams started early on treating him like Barry Bonds at the plate, passing him 18 times in 29 games.

He was invited to Dodger Stadium and apparently put on a power display that impressed manager Grady Little, hitting eight of the first nine pitches he saw into the left-field seats. He would also hit one completely out of the stadium it was rumored, but those sort of stories seem to stick to him like crazy glue.

The Dodgers recognized the power potential and drafted him in the 17th round. He signed on June 12 was sent to the Gulf Coast Dodgers.

He quickly found that hitting home runs isn't as easy in major league sized fields.

He told Bill Shelley, "The other day in practice I got into one and thought 'That's out." Then I looked and the outfielder was back catching it. I must have hit that ball 400 feet. Those alleys are long and that's my power - in the gaps."

With the Coasties he shared the first base position with Kyle Orr, another big kid (6-5, 205) but both of them struggled, Jacobs hitting .250-2-11 in 30 games and Orr .228-3-19 in 48 games. A third player, drafted as a first baseman, Andrew Lambo, switched to the outfield and had a dynamite first season, hitting .343-5-32.

Dodger Assistant General Manager, Scouting, Logan White said that Jacobs and Lambo had the most power of anyone in the draft, but the big outfields in the Gulf Coast League gobbled up many of their best shots.

Jacobs is a work in progress but power is a elusive thing for a young hitter and he will be given plenty of chances to develop the rest of his game.

After playing only 30 games in his rookie year and considering his tender age, he may return to the Gulf Coast League in 2008.

His first professional record:
Franklin Christopher Jacobs		  br  tr  6-5  260
 Born- November 25, 1988
Obtained- Selected in the 17th round of the 2007 draft
year	team   ave  obp  ops  gm  ab   r   h 2b 3b hr  bi 
2007	GCL	.250	.327 .692	30  96  14  24  5  0  2  11  

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