David Francia

From BR Bullpen

David Anthony Francia

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

David Francia hit .268 and stole 139 bases in eight years in Organized Baseball, then played in Serie A1 and for the Italian national team. His time in Italy later became the subject of scandal when it was discovered that BBC Grosseto president Claudio Banchi forged four documents, such as replacing the city of marriage for Francia's grandparents from Chicago, IL to Salerno, Italy.

Francia hit .315 in college in 1995. The next year, he batted .346/?/.523 and stole 20 bases. The Philadelphia Phillies picked him in the 8th round of the 1996 amateur draft. Debuting professionally with the Batavia Muckdogs, he hit .289/.309/.418 and stole 16 bases in 22 tries. He turned three double plays, leading all outfielders in the New York-Penn League.

In 1997, Francia batted .300/.339/.453 in 112 games for the Piedmont Boll Weevils and stole 39 bases in 51 tries. He also played 21 contests with the Clearwater Phillies, hitting .280/.333/.347. Dave split 1998 between Clearwater (.278/.320/.438) and the Reading Phillies (.238/.273/.346).

Francia spent all of 1999 with Reading, producing at a .271/.314/.401 clip in 107 games. In 2000, the 25-year-old outfielder hit .290/.326/.400 in 56 games and .291/.385/.419 in his first 48 games in AAA, with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.

In 2001, the flyhawk batted .228/.280/.303 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and stole 19 bases in 26 attempts. Francia hit .214/.246/.316 in 48 games for the 2002 Red Barons and was 2 for 18 with them in 2003. Dave then joined the Nashua Pride, hitting .328/?/.460 and stealing 28 bases. He was sixth in the Atlantic League in steals, third in average and tied Dwight Maness for the most triples (8).

Francia moved to BBC Grosseto in 2004 and hit .345/.418/.480 with 15 steals in 19 tries. He was fifth in Serie A1 in average and helped the team to a title. Dave joined Italy for the 2004 Olympics but was 0 for 16 with a walk in four games in center field. He hit .391/~.391/.522 in the 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week for Italy. He batted .333/.364/.381 for San Marino in the 2007 European Cup.

In 2007, Francia was at the center of the scandal that brought down the Grosseto president with a 8-month jail sentence.

Francia later scouted for the San Diego Padres, signing Casey McElroy.

Sources: 1996-2005 Baseball Almanacs, Story on the forged documents about Francia, Defunct IBAF site, Serie A1 stats, 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week stats