MMO Top 25 Prospects: No. 10 Franklyn Kilome

Photo Courtesy of Baseball Betsy

Franklyn Kilome

Position: SP     B/T: R/R     Age: June 25, 1995 (23)
Acquired:  Acquired from Philadelphia for Asdrubal Cabrera
Stats (Binghamton): 0-3, 4.03 ERA, 1.079 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 9.9 K/9
2018 Overall (Double-A): 4-9, 4.18 ERA, 1.343 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Kilome has been a cusp of the top 100 of prospect lists for the last few seasons. The 6’6” 175 lb. right-hander is the kind of tall lanky pitcher that scouts would say has an easily projectable physical frame. Originally signed in 2013 by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic for $40,000, Kilome spent all of 2018 in Double-A with both organizations and has made steady strides towards the majors in each stop in his minor league journey.

My first impression of Franklyn Kilome came in the early spring of 2016. At the time, he  was regarded as a fringe top 100 even then. Touted as having a live arm with the potential for multiple plus pitches, I was intrigued. I got to see him on a chilly spring morning against the Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals Low-A team). My chicken scratch notes from that day included a fastball with plus velocity, but was flat and with bad control: 

From what I witnessed, (at Hagerstown); a lot of work is needed. He does have near TOR upside, but it is a long way off projection. Upper 90s FB with an inconsistent curveball that, with work could be a plus pitch. His easy delivery should be repeatable, but his command suggests otherwise. My prediction is a future reliever with closer potential. If he develops as a starter there is a bit of a young Aaron Harang upside, and if you want an upside projection as a closer, Jonathan Papelbon.

When he was near the strike zone (which was not often) he was hit, and hit hard. His final line that day against the Victor Robles led Suns was 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. Not exactly a good impression based on stats.

Honestly the book hasn’t deviated much from that initial report. He is still primarily a two-pitch pitcher with the fastball and curve. His delivery hasn’t changed much. He utilizes a low-effort delivery with a high leg kick he uses to generate momentum off the mound. The fastball velocity is still there with him throwing a heavy, steady mid-90s and sometimes touching 97 MPH. The offering has developed some sink and induces weak grounders. However, he does go through periods where he will leave it up at times.

It is his curve where the real progress has been made, and it has developed into that forecasted plus pitch. It is where he gets his swings and misses with its 12-6 break, and he has shown the confidence in it to throw in any count. He does show a change-up on occasion, but it is not nearly as effective as his primary offerings.

Kilome did make significant strides once joining the Mets organization. In comparison to the season start in Reading to the seven starts with the Rumble Ponies, we seen an improved WHIP from 1.441 to a 1.079. He accomplished this with better command, cutting the walks-per-nine from 4.5 to 2.3. He also cut the hits-per nine down from 8.5 to 7.3. In addition to preventing base runners, he increased his strikeout rate to 9.9 from 7.3. In fact, if one were to prorate his stats with Binghamton he would have led the league in K/9 and WHIP.

Unfortunately in October of 2018, like so many Mets pitching prospects before him, he fell victim to the UCL gods and required Tommy John surgery. The upcoming lost season is especially painful. Considering the depth on the 40 man roster, he could have been a much needed arm for the big league club as either a starter or in bullpen. From a developmental standpoint having topped 140 innings in 2018, he was on track to be a viable back-end innings eater with upside going into next season.

Considering how the Mets prefer an 18 month rehabilitation for starting pitchers with Tommy John surgery, he will not be ready to pitch again until late April 2020. At that time, he will be a soon to turn 25-year-old who hasn’t pitched above Double-A, and he will have only one option year remaining. Taking that into consideration, we may see the Mets give him more of a look in the bullpen, especially with him having lost that development time to develop the third pitch to remain in the rotation.

Editor’s Note: Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, Gerson Bautista and Felix Valerio were all in our original Top 50 before they were traded.

Previous Rankings

50-46 Led by Michael Paez
45-41 Led by Ranfy Adon
40-36
Led by Anthony Dirocie
35-31
Led by Ryley Gilliam
30-26 Led by Chris Viall
25 Carlos Cortes
24 Ali Sanchez
23 Eric Hanhold

22 Luis Carpio
21 Freddy Valdez
20 Walker Lockett
19 Junior Santos
18 Gavin Cecchini
17 Jordan Humphreys
16 Christian James
15 Tony Dibrell
14 Francisco Alvarez
13 Will Toffey

12 Adrian Hernandez
11 Desmond Lindsay

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