GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina sophomore Thomas Francisco was selected in the 19th round (pick 571 overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday afternoon.
He is the third Pirate taken this year following Gavin Williams (Cleveland Indians/first round/pick 23) and Connor Norby (Baltimore Orioles/second round/pick 41).
Francisco is the fifth player to be drafted by the Cardinals following Seth Maness (2011/11th round), Evan Kruczynski (2017/9th round), Chris Holba (2018/11th round) and Alec Burleson (2020/2nd round).
Thomas Francisco – 2021 Biographical Sketch
Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection as a first baseman … One of three players to start all 61 games (31/1B, 27/LF, 3/DH) … Stood second on the team and in The American in batting average (.354) and hits (87) … Tied for the team lead with Connor Norby in at-bats (264) and runs (64) … Hit 13 home runs while lacing 11 doubles – both third on the club … Drew 23 walks and struck out 23 times … Named to AAC Honor Roll on March 22 … Tallied five game-winning RBI (Tulane, Cincinnati twice, UCF and Norfolk State) … Hit home runs in consecutive at-bats against Tulane (both solo shots) on May 9 … Belted home runs in consecutive games in the AAC Championships (Memphis and UCF) … Registered three different 10-game hitting streaks on the season (March 17 to April 2, April 3 to April 30, May 1 to May 16) … Also added a nine-game streak from Feb. 27 to March 13 … Tallied at least one hit in 51 of 61 games played … Scored at least one run in 39 contests (multiple 23 times) … Touched home in nine straight games from May 1 to May 15 … Credited with game-winning RBI in the first game of the Greenville Regional against Norfolk State with his three-run homer in the sixth inning … Started all 10 postseason games (AAC Championships/5, Greenville Regional/3, Nashville Super Regional/2) … In league play, batted .393 (44-for-112) with seven home run, 23 RBI and scored 31 runs … Tied for first in runs scored … Stood third in The American in batting average, hits and total bases (72), while ranking fifth in home runs … Ranked nationally in hits (14th), runs (14th), toughest to strikeout (35th/10.7), total bases (38th/137) and runs per game (55th/1.05) … On ECU’s single-season charts he is tied for ninth in runs with Connor Norby, while also ranking 11th in hits … Batted .300 (6-for-20) with a pair of home runs in AAC Championship games … Tallied 25 two-out hits and 20 two-out RBI … Successfully advanced runners at a 53.1 percent rate (77-for-145) … Hit at a .500 clip (20-for-40) when leading off an inning … Primarily hit in the second (35) and third (19) spots of the order … Stood second on the team with 28 multi-hit games … Led the club with 13 multi-RBI contests … Had 31-game on-base streak snapped at Wichita State (April 30/Game 2), which ranks as the 15th longest since 1998 … Seven of career-high 13 home runs came against AAC opponents … Hit two home runs in a game twice (Illinois State/March 19 and Tulane/May 9) … Helped turn 14 double plays … Posted a .993 fielding percentage committing two errors in 274 chances … Registered 257 putouts and 15 assists … Preseason All-AAC selection by leagues head coaches and Perfect Game.