ST Interview: Franchy Cordero

PEORIA: Last year Franchy Cordero, 20, came into the year as one of the Padres’ more exciting prospects. The left-handed hitting young Dominican shortstop was coming off of a season where he hit .333/.381/.511 in the rookie-level Arizona League and expectations were high for him coming into the year at Low-A Fort Wayne.

Instead he hit .188 and had 18 errors in 20 games before being sent down to Eugene. His bat rebounded with a .279/.329/.458 slash line, but his defense still suffered with 34 errors in 36 games.

“Franchy knew he had a tough season last year,” said Eddie Rodriguez, San Diego’s infield coordinator who worked with him last year and is again working with him in Spring Training, “but he also knew that he could do the job and set about proving it this off-season.”

Cordero arrived in Peoria on February 17 and has been taking endless ground balls and the result so far in spring is much improved defender. In the cage, next to uber-prospect outfielder Michael Gettys, Cordero still can put on one of the more impressive hitting displays in the organization with line drives flying to all fields.

A big part of his improvement was simply gaining more repetition at a position that he didn’t grow up playing and mastering the arm angles and footwork needed for shortstop. The majority of his errors in 2014 were either on throws that he rushed or being unsure of his footwork.

“He’s not there yet, there is still a lot of work to do,” said Rodriguez. “But right now we have him on the right path.”

We caught up with Cordero after a recent game to talk about his improvement.

You seem much more confident this year at shortstop. How did you develop it?

Franchy Cordero: All of the coaches are responsible for any success I have on the field because they have stuck with me through the whole process and had confidence in me. That is what gives me confidence, its up to me to prove it.

When I fail its on me because I didn’t apply their lessons.

After they pointed out what I needed to improve upon, they got me to enjoy the game and reminded me that I need play it that way.

At the plate how are you able to achieve the timing you have at the plate. You seem to launch your body into every pitch?

Franchy Cordero: I’ve been more focused on my timing and try to keep my rhythm. I’m always confident in my hitting but want to make sure I keep my offense separate from my defense.

Your swing is also more compact this season.

Franchy Cordero: I’ve tried to keep the leg kick down and control it more. Our hitting coordinator Luis Ortiz calls it “dancing with the pitcher” in keeping with their rhythm and not going against it.

What is your biggest goal going into this year?

Franchy Cordero: My biggest goal is to take everything that I have learned, especially on the defensive side, and take it into the game and do the things I need to do.

My biggest goal is to have a clean year on defense, make all of the plays that I need to make.


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