6-5 260 BR TR
Born-November 25, 1988 Winstson-Salem NC
Selected in the 17th round 2007
2008 rating #39
Florida residents enjoy watching the space launches well north of Vero Beach and, just perhaps, some of those streaks in the sky weren't spaces ships at all, just trademark batting practice shots off the bat of Franklin Christian Jacobs a 6-foot 5-inches tall, 260 pound Dodgers minor league first baseman. When he connects, the ball flies like an illegally hot golf ball, but having just turned 19 he had a lot to learn.
He was checked out early by Division I college football teams during his sophomore year but stopped playing because he was determined to be a baseball player and didn't want an injury to slow that in any way.
He led his basketball team in rebounding and scoring but he never had any aspirations in that direction. "No, it was always baseball for me and I think I made the right choice."
And play baseball he did, setting school records in all directions and distance records that continue to grown as days go by, although he doesn't clam any of the stories about past dingers.
Opposing teams started early on treating him like Barry Bonds at the plate, passing him 18 times in 29 games his senior year in Robert B. Glenn High School in Winston-Salem, NC.
He was invited to Dodger Stadium before the 2007 draft and apparently put on a power display that impressed manager Grady Little, hitting eight of the first nine pitches he saw into the left-field seats. He would also hit one completely out of the stadium, so the story goes, but those sort of tales seem to stick to him like crazy glue.
The Dodgers recognized the power potential and drafted him in the 17th round. He signed on June 12 was sent to the Gulf Coast Dodgers. He quickly found that hitting home runs isn't as easy in major league-sized fields.
He told Bill Shelley, "The other day in practice I got into one and thought 'That's out." Then I looked and the outfielder was back catching it. I must have hit that ball 400 feet. Those alleys are long and that's my power - in the gaps."
With the Coasties he hit .250-2-11 in 30 games and struck out about a third of the time. A return visit to the Gulf Coast League saw him reduced his strikeouts to about 25% of the time (walking more times than fanning), hit .271 and knocked in 26 runs.
But the home runs continued to elude him. Jacobs is a work in progress but power is a elusive thing for a young hitter and he will be given plenty of chances to develop the rest of his game.
After playing only 43 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2008 he may get a shot at pitchers in the Pioneer League while playing for Ogden.
His two-year professional record:
Chris Jacobs year team ave obp ops gm ab r h 2b 3b hr bi 2007 GCL .250 .327 .692 30 96 14 24 5 0 2 11 2007 GCL .271 .380 .776 43 144 23 39 5 2 3 26 Totals .263 .360 .743 73 240 37 63 10 2 5 37