Decision time for Christy
Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
Each day, thousands of young kids are dreaming of playing professional baseball for their favorite team. With a San Francisco Giants or Oakland A's hat on, if you grew up in the Bay Area, a little boy is seeing himself hit the winning home run in game seven of the World Series right now.
For Casa Grande's standout baseball player, Francis Christy, the dream could soon be a reality. He was recently selected by the Oakland A's in the 37th round of the Major League Baseball draft.
“I've been an A's fan since the day I was born,” an excited Christy said, wearing a green and yellow A's hat.
How Christy found out he was drafted makes the story that much sweeter.
Though he has been tense with anticipation about the draft, Christy was doing what any other kid that recently graduated high school would be doing.
“I was swimming at a graduation party when my friend got a text saying that I was drafted,” Christy said. “I got out of the pool and the A's scout had left me a voice message.”
With the draft being a three-day process, Christy had to do whatever he could to act like the days were normal summer days. Many people expected him to be drafted on the second day in the top 10 rounds. It didn't happen, making Christy believe he would not be drafted this year. The late draft certainly did not derail him.
“I was just excited I was drafted at all,” Christy said.
Christy could have possibly been selected by either one of the Bay Area baseball teams. He participated in pre-draft workouts for the A's and Giants, with an invitation to a St. Louis Cardinals workout in Southern California. The Texas Rangers also called him the morning he was drafted.
Now, Christy has to make a decision that any high school baseball player would be fine with making. He must choose between signing a professional contract with his favorite team or keeping his college commitment to the University of Oregon.
“The coaches have been calling almost every day to see what I am going to do and try to get me to stay with Oregon,” Christy said.
Oregon has a top-tier baseball program on the rise with attractions to make any recruit jump at the opportunity to be a Duck. This season the Ducks finished with a 48-16 record, hosted a Regional Tournament and ranked as the No. 9 team in the nation when their season ended with a loss to Rice University.
The Ducks also signed two other catchers, but they both have already signed pro contracts making the coaches push even harder to persuade Christy to remain a Duck.
Not only is the baseball intriguing in Oregon, Christy loves the area.
“I love the outdoors of Oregon and hate being cooped up inside,” Christy said. “I went to the rivalry football game against Oregon State and it was an insane atmosphere.”
Last summer, Christy had the opportunity to showcase his talents at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minnesota. There he impressed college recruiters and scouts, stacking up against some of the best high school players in the country.
Soon after the showcase, Christy visited Oregon and committed to be a Duck before another school could snag him. He also attended the Area Code Games, grabbing the attention of scouts.
Christy was committed to be a Duck before his senior baseball season even began. He did not disappoint one bit.
Casa Grande enjoyed one of its best seasons in years with Christy playing his last season as a Gaucho. The Gauchos won the North Bay League and were runners-up in the North Coast Section Division 2 playoffs, losing 8-0, to Campolindo in the championship game.
Hitting in the leadoff spot with the build of a professional ball player, Christy provided the perfect combination of speed and power. He ended the season with a slash line of .423/.562/.701, with 41 hits, 19 RBIs, 30 runs scored, six home runs and stole 11 bases.
He may be on to bigger things, but this season will last a lifetime with Christy.
“This was the best season I have ever had, by far,” Christy said. “No matter how cliché it sounds, I feel like I have another family now.”
In a span of 10 days, Christy graduated from Casa Grande, played his last high school baseball game and was drafted by the A's. Now, at only 17 years old, Christy has until Aug. 15 to decide between Oregon or start his professional career with the A's. Talk about a win-win situation.
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