MLB News and Rumors

MLB's Top Prospect Wander Franco Pays Tribute to Albert Pujols With Jersey Number

Adam Taylor McKillop
MLB's top prospect Wander Franco pays tribute to Albert Pujols with his jersey number choice in debut.
MLB's top prospect Wander Franco pays tribute to Albert Pujols with his jersey number choice in debut. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Back in 2017-18, the Tampa Bay Rays offered Wander Franco the highest signing bonus of any international amateur during that period. Ever since that date, baseball's top prospect has seen his hype grow exponentially.

And, at long last, the Rays have decided to call up Franco to the big leagues. He will make his MLB debut on Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox. According to reports, Franco will wear No. 5 as a special tribute to a future Hall of Famer from his home country of the Dominican Republic. That's none other than Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wander Franco News

Franco is one of those generational type of talents. The switch-hitting shortstop displays off-the-charts bat speed and a unique ability to "manipulate his swing to put barrel to ball" and hit to all fields, according to He's also been an absolute menace in the Rays' minor league system. At 17 years old, Franco won Rookie Appalachian League MVP honors and then followed up by slashing .327/.398/.487 in Single-A ball in 2019.

The league's top prospect continued to excel at Triple-A during 39 games so far this season. Franco slashed .315/.367/.586 with 11 doubles, 6 triples and 7 home runs during that span. The hype continued to grow after Tampa Bay dealt their starting shortstop Willy Adames earlier this season.

At long last, the MLB will get to see this generational talent on Tuesday night. Even better, he's rocking No. 5 on his back to pay tribute to Pujols, presumably his favorite player and fellow Dominican Republic legend.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.