Franklin's big bat wastes no time slugging away

SEATTLE -- With only 190 pounds packed onto his 6-foot-1 frame, Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin isn't built like a player who causes opposing pitchers' palms to sweat and outfielders to nervously back their way to the warning track.

But while Franklin's appearance may never cause eager young fans in the outfield to raise their gloves in anticipation, it probably should. The switch-hitting second baseman has shown the power of a larger man since being called up to the Mariners last Tuesday.

After slugging .478 in Triple-A Tacoma with four home runs, Franklin has already hit two homers for Seattle. Both came at the expense of the San Diego Padres on May 30. For perspective, only superstars Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez had multi-homer games for the organization at a younger age than Franklin. Entering the team's series with the White Sox on Monday, the 22-year-old had the team lead with a .381 on-base percantage, and a .588 slugging percentage.

"He's got a lot of torque, he's got some bat speed, he's aggressive," manager Eric Wedge said. "You know bat speed is the name of the game, and he's up there hunting the fastball, hunting the ball."

For his part, Franklin believes the source of his surprising slugging is quite simple.

"I just square up. I'm not a big guy, but I square my shoulders to the ball and that does it," Franklin said.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for . This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.