Toronto Blue Jays News

Former Blue Jay Jeff Francis Inducted into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 5: Jeff Francis #35 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks in before delivering a pitch during MLB game action against the New York Yankees on May 5, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 5: Jeff Francis #35 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks in before delivering a pitch during MLB game action against the New York Yankees on May 5, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Wednesday morning the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Jeff Francis would be inducted as the only member of the 2022 class.

Time has flown by as it has already been 20-years since the Vancouver native was selected ninth overall in 2002 MLB Draft from the University of British Columbia by the Colorado Rockies.

Francis had a lot of hype in Canada as he was a top 10 pick and then flew through the Rockies system posting a 28-12 record, with a 2.71 ERA over 58 starts in the minors.  The 6’5” left hander would make his MLB Debut 26 months after being drafted as a late season call-up in 2004, starting seven games.  Francis would be roughed up in his first two starts, but settled in during his final five appearances, going 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA.

Francis would remain as a mainstay in the Rockies rotation for the next half decade that saw him finish fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2005 and collect 17 wins in 2007.  Injuries became a problem in 2008 as he was able to only make 21 starts, which eventually led to surgery and missing the entirety of the 2009 season.  The injuries led to Francis bouncing around the league for the remainder of his career, which included a stop in Kansas City, before returning to Colorado and again leaving for Cincinnati, Oakland, New York (Yankees) before finally finishing his career in Toronto after the 2015 season.

The Blue Jays signed Francis for the 2015 season on a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.  He made his first appearance in relief on April 19 with Russell Martin as his catcher, marking the first time a Canadian pitcher and catcher were paired together in a game.  Francis started off well posting a 3.60 ERA over four appearances and 10 innings, however, he struggled through May surrendering five earned runs over four appearances and just two innings.  Francis would be designated for assignment and accepted a demotion to Triple-A Buffalo.  He would be quite effective for the Bisons throughout the season, primarily as a starter and earned a recall in September to the Blue Jays where he would make his final career appearance on October 4 tossing one scoreless inning.

Francis would announce his retirement that offseason, finishing his career with 254 appearances (217 starts) posting a 72-82 record and one save with a 4.96 ERA.  From his draft class, Francis ranks eighth among pitchers in wins and 12th among all players in career WAR.

Next. Former Blue Jays Eligible for 2023 Hall of Fame Ballot. dark

Francis will join 2020 Inductees which includes Justin Morneau, John Olerud and Duane Ward this coming June for the induction ceremony.

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