Friday, October 08, 2004

Daily Prospect Report 10/8

Jeff Francis, LHP, Colorado Rockies
Drafted 9th Overall, 2002 Draft, University of British Columbia
Bats L/Throws L
23 YO, 6'5", 200 lbs

If the Rox are ever to produce a pitcher through their farm system, this is what he'll look like. His minor league numbers are pretty staggering. In Tulsa this season, he started 17 games, and posted a 1.98 ERA with 73 hits allowed, 22 walks, and 147 K's in 113.2 innings pitched. He only yielded 9 home runs. Then he moved up to the thin air of Colorado Springs, and was just as impressive with a 2.85 ERA, 35 hits allowed, 7 walks, 49 K's, and 3 HR allowed in 41 IP. He earned the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year award.

Will he be successful even when he has to start half his games in the best hitter's park in major league history? I honestly don't know. He struggled with his september callup to the tune of a 5.15 ERA, 42 hits, 13 walks, 32 K's, and HR allowed in 36.2 IP, but as we learned in the Ben Hendrickson profile, it isn't unusual for young pitchers (hitters too, for that matter) to struggle before making adjustments. Also, with park effects being what they are, you have to adjust your scale of what would be considered successful. An ERA under 4 would be very valuable. It also bears mentioning that Colorado Springs is about as close as you could get to Coors Field without actually being there, and he was lights out.

I wouldn't draft him in a roto league, but he's still probably the best pitching prospect in baseball.

ETA: Now
5 Stars



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