By Annie Ross

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco has only played 80 games in the majors, but he has already impressed one legendary Phillies third baseman.

“I’m a big fan, a very big fan,” Mike Schmidt told CSN Philly. “I think he’s got everything that a young man like that needs to become a great player. He’ll be a league MVP at some point. Hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later. But he has that kind of talent. I think he’s a 30-100 guy. If you multiply out his numbers he was that last year.”

In 80 games—or almost exactly half of a season—Franco belted 37 extra-base hits, putting him on pace for 74 across a full big-league year. In 2015, only nine hitters in all of baseball, including AL MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson, reached that mark.

Schmidt—a 10-time Gold Glove winner for the Phillies—thinks Franco has more defensive tools than he had.

“He has some things I never had,” Schmidt said. “He’s probably a better defensive player than I was. He does make some flamboyant plays. He’s very good charging the ball and bare-handing it. He has an unusual arm. He throws three-quarters to side-arm, but his ball carries and it’s strong.”

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