Jeff Francis
Francis with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015
Born: (1981-01-08) January 8, 1981 (age 43)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 25, 2004, for the Colorado Rockies
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
Win–loss record72–82
Earned run average4.97
Member of the Canadian
Baseball Hall of Fame
Men's baseball
Representing  Canada
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 2015 Toronto Team

Jeffrey William Francis (born January 8, 1981) is a Canadian former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays. He is an inductee of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Early life

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.

Professional career

Colorado Rockies

Francis was selected in the 1st round (9th 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.[1]

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 player to be honoured 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.

Francis with the Colorado Rockies in 2007

2004: rookie year

Francis made his major league debut on August 25, 2004, 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 513 scoreless innings in a 5–2 victory for the Rockies. Francis finished the year with a 3–2 record, with a 5.16 ERA.[2]


In 2005, Francis was a mainstay in the rotation, pitching in 33 starts for the Rockies. Although he finished with a 14–12 record, his ERA was 5.68 and his WHIP was at 1.62 while allowing 228 hits in 183 innings.


On September 23, 2006, 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.

Francis finished the season with an ERA of 4.16, more than a run lower from the previous year. He also won 13 games for the Rockies.

On November 22, 2006, Francis signed a four-year deal worth $13.25 million, carrying an option for a fifth year at $9 million. 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.


Francis had a career year while leading the Rockies into the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. He finished the season with a career-best 17 wins, 165 strikeouts and 215+13 innings.

On October 3, 2007, 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 second 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, as well as the series to the Boston Red Sox.

2008–09: injury-plagued

Like many of his Rockies teammates, Francis struggled to replicate his 2007 success during the 2008 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.[3] In addition, the surgery forced Francis to decline the invitation to play for Team Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.[4]


Francis began the 2010 season on the disabled list.[5] 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.[6] Francis pitched in 20 games for the Rockies in 2010 posting a 4–6 record with a 5.00 ERA. He became a free agent following the season.

Kansas City Royals


Francis while with the 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.[7] He became Kansas City's #2 Starter and led them in most pitching categories throughout the first half of the year.

2011 was an odd season for Francis, he was 3–7 at home with an ERA of 4.18 while on the road his ERA was a full run higher, at 5.48 while recording a record of 3–9. He finished with a 6–16 record for the Royals. After the season, he elected free agency on October 30.

Cincinnati Reds

On January 25, 2012, Francis agreed to a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds.[8] Francis decided to exercise a June 1 opt-out clause after pitching a complete-game shutout for the Triple A Louisville Bats.[9]

Second stint with the Rockies

Francis pitching for the Colorado Rockies in 2012

After opting out of his contract with the Reds, Francis agreed to a major league deal with the Rockies on June 7, 2012.[10] The next day, he started against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.[11] Francis 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.[12]

2013 was a horrible year for Francis as he pitched half the season in the bullpen, appearing in 23 games while making 12 starts. He finished 3–5 with an ERA of 6.27, his worst in his MLB career. He became a free agent following the season.

Second stint with the Reds

On January 13, 2014, Francis signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds.[13] He started the season with the Louisville Bats, and his contract was selected by the Reds on May 15.[14] He was designated for assignment and placed on waivers the next day[15] after allowing three runs in five innings to pick up the loss in his one start for the Reds.[16]

Oakland Athletics

On May 18, 2014, Francis was claimed off waivers from the Reds by the Oakland Athletics.[17] He was designated for assignment on July 3.[18]

New York Yankees

On July 11, 2014, Francis was acquired by the New York Yankees.[19] He was designated for assignment on July 28,[20] and subsequently released on August 5.[21]

Toronto Blue Jays

On October 31, 2014, he signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays that included an invitation to spring training. On March 31, 2015, he was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.[22] His contract was purchased from Buffalo on April 19.[23] He made his debut that day, and in pitching to Russell Martin, formed the first all-Canadian battery in franchise history.[24] Francis was designated for assignment on May 18,[25] and outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo on May 20.[26] On September 1, Francis was called up by the Blue Jays.[27] He made a total of 14 relief appearances for the Blue Jays in 2015, posting a 1–2 record, 6.14 ERA, and 21 strikeouts in 22 total innings.[28]

On December 15, 2015, Francis announced his retirement.[29]

In 1291 innings pitched during his MLB career, Francis was 72–82 with an ERA of 4.97 and 869 strikeouts. A good fielding pitcher, he committed only one error in 255 total chances for a .996 fielding percentage.[30] His only miscue occurred on June 28, 2008, as a member of the Rockies against the Tigers.[31]

In February 2022, Francis was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame; he was inducted in June 2022.[32]

Personal life

This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.Find sources: "Jeff Francis" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

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.

International competition

Francis was selected for Canada national baseball team at the 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2015 Pan American Games.

In 2015 Pan American Games Men's baseball tournament, he won gold medal.[33]


  1. ^ "Top 10 Canadian Draft Picks".
  2. ^ "Jeff Francis Stats, News, Photos – Colorado Rockies – ESPN". 1981-01-08. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  3. ^ Harding, Thomas (2009-02-19). "Francis' season over before it started". Archived from the original on 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  4. ^ McGowan, Don (2009-02-24). "Canada's WBC roster has pop, lacks pitching". Archived from the original on 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  5. ^ Armstrong, Jim (April 2, 2010). "Rockies' Jeff Francis injured, will miss start of season". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies – Box Score – May 16, 2010 – ESPN". 2010-05-16. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  7. ^ "Royals agree to terms with pitcher Jeff Francis on a one-year contract | Official Info" (Press release). 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
  8. ^ "Reds sign Francis to minor-league contract –". Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Reds release veteran Francis at his request – News". Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  10. ^ Harding, Thomas (June 7, 2012). "Francis returns to Rockies, to start Saturday". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Francis rejoins rotation in time to face Angels". June 8, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Harding, Thomas (December 6, 2012). "Francis re-signs with Rockies, pending a physical". Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (January 13, 2014). "Reds sign Jeff Francis". Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Sheldon, Mark (May 15, 2014). "Francis called up, makes debut in nightcap". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  15. ^ Sheldon, Mark (May 16, 2014). "Mesoraco returns to Reds lineup, homers in first AB". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  16. ^ Sheldon, Mark (May 15, 2014). "Reds' offense stymied in nightcap with Friars". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  17. ^ Baer, Bill (May 18, 2014). "Athletics pick up Jeff Francis off waivers from the Reds". Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  18. ^ Leibowitz, Aaron (July 3, 2014). "O'Flaherty returns to big leagues as A's DFA Francis". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "Yankees get LHP Francis in trade with Athletics". Associated Press. July 11, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  20. ^ Hoch, Bryan (July 28, 2014). "Almonte rejoins Yanks as Francis designated". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  21. ^ Eddy, Matt (November 10, 2014). "Minor League Transactions: Oct. 31-Nov. 6". Baseball America. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Odom, Jeff (March 31, 2015). "Bautista, Encarnacion each homer for Blue Jays in a 10-6 win over the Phillies". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  23. ^ Galindo, Peter (April 19, 2015). "Blue Jays call up LHP Jeff Francis, option Hynes". Sportsnet. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  24. ^ Leshinski, Ted (April 19, 2015). "Jeff Francis, Russell Martin become Blue Jays' first Canadian battery". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  25. ^ "Blue Jays designate LHP Francis for assignment". Sportsnet. May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  26. ^ "Barry Davis on Twitter". Twitter. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  27. ^ Nicholson-Smith, Ben (September 1, 2015). "Blue Jays promote five players as rosters expand". Sportsnet. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  28. ^ "Jeff Francis Statistics and History". Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  29. ^ Harding, Thomas (December 15, 2015). "Memorable Rockie Francis calls it a career". Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  30. ^ "Jeff Francis career statistics at". Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  31. ^ "Detroit Tigers 7, Colorado Rockies 6". Retrosheet. June 28, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  32. ^ "Jeff Francis". Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  33. ^ Kennedy, Brendan (July 19, 2015). "Canada defends Pan Am baseball gold in wild finish against Americans". Retrieved July 20, 2015.

Further reading