"I don't think so," Franco said.
Fate brought them together at Citi Field. The best Phillies pitching prospect entered in the fourth inning to face the best Phillies hitting prospect. Biddle threw Franco a looping slow curveball for strike one. Franco's knees buckled. He fouled back a 94-m.p.h. fastball. He whiffed on another pristine curve.
Franco has struck out just three times in 19 games since his promotion to Reading. Biddle fanned him in three pitches. The lefthanded pitcher smiled. Franco did, too.
"He didn't say anything," Biddle said. "But he said it with his eyes. He wasn't happy."
Biddle pitched a scoreless 11/3 innings and earned the win in a 4-2 victory for the United States. Franco was 0 for 2 as the World's designated hitter.
It was a fun moment in this annual showcase, which has been forgettable for the Phillies in recent years. They sent pitchers Julio Rodriguez and Lisalverto Bonilla to Kansas City a year ago. Bonilla was injured in a hotel incident the night before the game. Rodriguez allowed a home run to the first batter he faced. Neither player remains Phillies property.
In 2011, Jarred Cosart and Sebastian Valle represented the Phillies. Cosart was shipped to Houston in the Hunter Pence trade. Valle is buried in double A with a .218 batting average.
Biddle, 21, and Franco, 20, are bright prospects in a process that does not guarantee results. They are two of the youngest players in the Eastern League. The Phillies have pushed Franco. They are conservative with Biddle, who likely will spend the entire season at Reading, much as he did at lower levels.
"When you're the youngest guy on the team, it's hard to complain about things," Biddle said. ". . . Everyone else is going through the same grind I am. If I'm pitching well, you always want your sights on the big leagues and moving up a level. But you really have to be happy and focused on the spot you're in. That's the way I am right now."
Franco has hit .392 at double A with 10 extra-base hits in 19 games. His 21 home runs this season are 13th in all of affiliated minor-league baseball. Most scouts believe that he can stick at third base despite a slow first step. The Phillies have not started a homegrown player at third since Scott Rolen.
For one encounter, the young pitcher overwhelmed the young hitter. It is back to double-A life for both.
"In the clubhouse tomorrow," Franco said, "I will get a lot of jokes."
Contact Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @magelb.