Former Bruin Ben Francisco Makes Major League Debut with Cleveland
May 2, 2007
CLEVELAND - Former UCLA baseball player Ben Francisco made his major league debut Tuesday, May 1, with the Cleveland Indians. Francisco, who played at UCLA in 2001 and 2002, replaced Trot Nixon in right field in the ninth inning Tuesday night as the Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 12-4.
Francisco, 25, becomes the ninth former Bruin currently playing in the big leagues, and his promotion makes him the 55th former UCLA ballplayer to play in the major leagues. Francisco was promoted from the Birmingham Barons (AAA) to Cleveland on Tuesday, when the Indians sent right-handed pitcher Fausto Carmona to triple-A.
While at UCLA, Francisco logged a .358 batting average with 12 home runs and 79 RBI as an outfielder. The Cleveland Indians selected Francisco in the fifth round of the 2002 MLB Draft.
Francisco tallied a .293 average in spring training last March, collecting three home runs, two doubles, five RBI and seven runs in 21 games with Cleveland.
In 18 games last month with Birmingham, the former Bruin hit .299 with six doubles, one home run, nine RBI, 14 runs, 11 walks and a .397 on-base percentage.
Francisco was not the only former Bruin in uniform at Cleveland's Jacobs Field on Tuesday evening. Toronto's Troy Glaus (1995-1997) and Casey Janssen (2001-04) were across the field in the visitor's dugout.
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