From the Collection: Jeff Francis, p, Rockies

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There are about a half dozen autographs in my collection that were, in retrospect, real turning points in the way that I collected. They either inspired me to collect a certain item, or focus on a certain subject, or helped me take the whole process of collecting seriously.

This return was one of my earliest, and was one of the first letters that I every got from a player. I had some guys write stuff on index cards, but nobody had ever left a note like this. It was thrilled, and was a huge reason that I got so hooked into collecting early on.

It helped that he was a huge prospect, and would end up going in the First Round, 9th overall, to the Rockies in the 2002 draft. He did well in the minors after the draft, rating the teams #9, #3 and #3 prospect from 2002-2004. He never really turned into a top tier starter, but did go 44-32 from 2005 to 2007 and generally pitched really well. That win total is pretty good, but a lot of that was due to the Rockies offense; he would give up 649 hits in 598 IP, for a 1.423 WHIP…but he was pitching in Colorado, so he was probably better than even his peripheral numbers indicate. His ERA+ during that run was 104 (FYI: 100 in league average).

His biggest issue during his career had been injuries. He had some shoulder issues in 2008, and he has been dinged up ever since. He has struggled for the past couple seasons, and had been generally below league average since 2010.

Still, he is only 32, a lefty, and has good control. I like to think his career is long from over, and maybe he can recapture something to help make him as effective as he was during his time with the Rockies.

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA IP H BB SO ERA+ WHIP Awards
2004 23 COL NL 3 2 5.15 36.2 42 13 32 96 1.500
2005 24 COL NL 14 12 5.68 183.2 228 70 128 84 1.623 RoY-6
2006 25 COL NL 13 11 4.16 199.0 187 69 117 118 1.286
2007 26 COL NL 17 9 4.22 215.1 234 63 165 114 1.379 CYA-9
2008 27 COL NL 4 10 5.01 143.2 164 49 94 94 1.483
2010 29 COL NL 4 6 5.00 104.1 119 23 67 93 1.361
2011 30 KCR AL 6 16 4.82 183.0 224 39 91 85 1.437
2012 31 COL NL 6 7 5.58 113.0 145 22 76 83 1.478
2013 32 COL NL 2 5 6.60 61.1 76 20 52 68 1.565
9 Yrs 69 78 4.94 1240.0 1419 368 822 94 1.441
162 Game Avg. 11 12 4.94 192 220 57 127 94 1.441
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2013.
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