Francis Christy was drafted straight out of high school into major league baseball but turned down the offer to attend college and improve as a player.
Originally from Petaluma, Calif., 18-year-old Christy has been playing baseball for 13 years.
When he was five his father enrolled him and his brother in several sports including basketball and soccer. His brother chose basketball whereas Christy found his passion in baseball.
“Out of all the sports I played, that was the funnest one for me,” Christy said. “And I’ve been playing ever since.”
Christy is in his first year at Palomar College and plays for the baseball team as catcher.
According to Baseball Head Coach Buck Taylor, Christy is “a physical left-handed hitting catcher that is a for real prospect this season.”
Although drafted in the 37th round by the Oakland A’s organization right after high school, Christy made the decision to go to college first and grow as a player. He said his aim is to get into the top 10 rounds of major league baseball to make more money to help his family.
Baseball Pitching Coach Jared Suwyn thought Christy made a wise decision.
“When you get the opportunity to play at the professional level, kids usually jump on it,” Suwyn said. “I think he was smart to pull out a year and improve his game and mature as a student and as a player.”
Christy came to Palomar when his high school baseball coach recommended the college to him and said it was “one of the better junior colleges” in southern California.
Christy said he was impressed by the strong team environment and that his new coaches and fellow teammates are encouraging and supportive people.
“They’re the best. Honestly one of the best teams I every played for and played with. All the guys are great,” he said.
He added that his coaches, Taylor, Suwyn and Ben Adams, are always working to help each player get better.
“They’re honest about every little mistake we make. They’re good at motivating us to work harder,” Christy said.
When asked what inspires him to excel as a baseball player, Christy mentioned his family and his home as two of his biggest motivators
“(I do my best) mostly for my town, all the guys there,” Christy said. “I know some kids who looked up to me a lot and I don’t want to let
Christy also mentioned that what makes a good player is dedication, working hard every day and trying to get better every single day.
Suwyn said that Christy is very coachable, willing to listen and accepting of criticism to help him improve. He also mentioned that he is not a vocal leader but that he certainly leads by example.
“(Christy) has a ‘let’s go’ attitude that when the game starts, he flips a switch and he is ready to play,” Suwyn said. “He makes the effort to show his teammates and to show his coaches that he is respectful of himself to play the game hard.”
“I think that when he steps into the box, the other pitchers fear his beard,” Suwyn added jokingly.
Christy said he hopes to transfer to a four-year college after finishing his general education and eventually make a career as a professional baseball player.