Jeff Francis : biography
Jeffrey William "Jeff" Francis (born January 8, 1981) is a Canadian professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies in Major League Baseball (MLB).
In 2004, Francis was named Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today, becoming the first player in Colorado Rockies organizational history to win either of the awards. He became the fourth different player to be honored in the same season by both publications, joining Andruw Jones (1995–1996), Rick Ankiel (1999), and Josh Beckett (2001). Combined between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs, Francis went 16–3 with a 2.21 ERA and .194 average against in 24 starts. He struck out 196 batters in 154.2 innings pitched, for a ratio of 11.4 per nine innings. He had more strikeouts than hits (108) and walks (29) combined.
2004: rookie year
Francis made his major league debut on August 25, , against the Atlanta Braves, losing the 8–1 decision. He pitched five innings, allowing six runs (on three home runs), walking one, while striking out eight hitters. He earned his first career victory on September 5, 2004, against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park, tossing 5 scoreless innings in a 5–2 victory for the Rockies.
Francis finished the year with a 3–2 record, with an ERA of 5.16
Francis played for Canada at the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
On September 23, , Francis notched his 30th career win against the Atlanta Braves. In the process, he passed Brian Bohanon to become the left-handed pitcher with the most wins in Rockies history.
On November 22, 2006, Francis signed a four-year deal worth $13.25 million, carrying an option for a fifth year at $9million. Under MLB rules, the option year would be his first year eligible for free agency. The contract will allow the Rockies/Francis to avoid going to arbitration every year.
On October 3, , Francis became the first Canadian starting pitcher to win a Major League Baseball postseason game by beating the Philadelphia Phillies. It was his first postseason appearance.
On October 24, 2007, Francis became the first Canadian starting pitcher to pitch in the World Series but struggled in lasting only four innings and allowing six runs. The Rockies went on to lose the game 13 – 1.
Like many of his Rockies teammates, Francis struggled to replicate his 2007 success during the season. He finished the year with a 4–10 record and a 5.01 ERA in 21 starts, although he reported pitching through shoulder soreness for much of the season.
Francis underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on February 25. As a result, he missed the entire 2009 season. In addition, the surgery forced Francis to decline the invitation to play for Team Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic
In his first game back since his injury, Francis pitched seven innings, allowing two walks and seven hits in a 3–2 Rockies win over the Nationals on May 16, 2010. Francis pitched in 20 games for the Rockies in 2010 posting a 4–6 record with a 5.00 ERA
Kansas City Royals
On January 14, 2011, Francis agreed to a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals for $2 million plus performance bonuses. He became Kansas City’s #2 Starter and led them in most pitching categories throughout the first half of the year. He elected free agency on October 30.
On January 25, 2012, Francis agreed to a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Francis decided to opt out of his contract by exercising a June 1 opt-out clause after pitching a complete game shutout for the Triple A Louisville Bats.http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/34577879http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120604&content_id=32742452&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb
Back To Colorado
After opting out of his contract with the Reds, Francis signed with the Rockies on June 8, 2012. He finished the season in the rotation with an ERA of 5.58 in 113 innings.
After becoming a free agent on October 29, 2012, Francis re-signed with the Colorado Rockies on December 19.
Francis attended Burnsview Junior Secondary School and North Delta Senior Secondary School in North Delta, British Columbia. After playing for the North Delta Blue Jays of the B.C. Premier Baseball League, the highest calibre junior league in British Columbia, Francis went on to pursue a major in physics at the University of British Columbia while playing for the UBC Thunderbirds. He was selected in the 1st round (9th pick overall) by the Colorado Rockies in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. Along with Adam Loewen, who was selected at fourth overall in the same draft, the two received much publicity as they were drafted higher than any other Canadian baseball players up to that time. Francis was signed by Greg Hopkins.
Francis and his wife Allison Padfield were married on December 31, 2005 in London, Ontario. In late 2009, Allison gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter named Cameron. In December 2011, Allison gave birth to their son, Miles. Currently, they still live in the Denver area during the baseball season, and also reside in London, Ontario.