In 2015, France got drafted by the Padres (see Transactions below).
At San Diego State, Tony Gwynn was his coach the first two of his three years as an Aztec. Ty cherishes the talks about hitting: "When you first got there, he made hitting seem easy because he was so good at it. After a while when you had time to process everything he was saying, you started to realize that if you really listened, it could be easier.
"Under Coach Gwynn coaching the mental side of the game was really important. Whenever I feel a pressure situation, I try to step out, breathe and then get back in there," France said.
Asked what he is working to improve most in his game, Ty said, "Probably the mental side. When things aren’t going my way to try to stay positive and realize the kind of player that I know I am to help get me out of that rut."
In 2019, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ty as the 28th-best prospect in the Padres system.
In 2019, Ty was the Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP.
2020 Season: France came over from the Padres to the Mariners in the Austin Nola deal. At the time of the trade, France was slugging almost .500 with a wRC+ of 137, and while his production dipped slightly after coming to Seattle, he still finished the season with a .302/.362/.453 slash line.
2021 season: To the surprise of many, infielder Ty France blew away expectations when he was given the reins at first base, and ended the year as a bona fide Gold Glove candidate.
France, primarily a third baseman, second baseman, and DH, took over the full-time first base job on May 24th, then never surrendered it. Over the course of the season, France led all Gold Glove-eligible AL first basemen with a .999 fielding percentage; errors aren’t common at first base, but for a player who logged 915 innings at the position, only one error is certainly impressive.
France’s advanced fielding metrics at first base this season were also outstanding: France led all AL first basemen with an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of 3.0, and was second in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) with 5. (Connor Tweet - Oct. 26, 2021)
2022 Season: France was superb for the Mariners in 2021 and he got off to an even better start in 2022, slashing .308/.376/.470 in the first half of the year with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs as he was named to the All-Star Game for the first time.
But he dealt with a few injuries to his elbow and wrist and saw his production dip on his way to a .233/.291/.394 slash line in the second half. (BRANDON GUSTAFSON - Oct. 21, 2022)
June 2015: France was the Padres' 34th round pick, out of San Diego State. Ty signed with scout Josh Emmerick for $100,000.
Aug 31, 2020: The Mariners traded RHP Austin Adams, RHP Dan Altavilla, and C Austin Nola to the Padres; acquiring RHP Andres Munoz, C Luis Torrens, CF Taylor Trammell and INF Ty France.
- Jan 13, 2023: France and the Mariners avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal for $4.1 million.
|Birth City:||Downey, CA|
|Draft:||Padres #34 - 2015 - Out of San Diego State Univ. (CA)|
France has such a great knowledge of the strike zone that he is guaranteed to provide you a high on-base percentage. That ability was something he developed.
"One, you can’t be afraid to be hit by a pitch, which I think I have shown I can do here [laughs]. Also, you have to be selective in getting your pitch to hit and putting a good swing on it," Ty said.
Ty's best attribute is his hit tool. He handles velocity, has excellent barrel awareness and uses the whole field. After making setup and swing adjustments, Ty's home run total jumped from 5 to 22 in the 2017 season. He is especially clutch in high leverage situations. Ty also enhances his on-base-percentage with his unique ability of getting hit with pitches—72 times in three seasons. (Spring 2019)
His secret: hunting pitches up in the strike zone.
“I honestly believe he’s a true testament to development,” said Phillip Wellman, who managed France in 2017 and 2018 in San Antonio. “I think he just realized how to attack a pitch with malicious intent.
“I saw him hit changeups for home runs. I saw him hit sliders, breaking balls, curveballs . . . and of course he stayed on the fastball. Last year, he really was the guy. I wrote in my reports that he can smell RBIs.
“He was the guy you wanted at the plate in a close game with a man on second and two outs because he invariably figured out a way to get him in.” (Jeff Sanders - Baseball America - April, 2019)
On August 10, 2019, Ty France collected four hits, including three for extra bases. In doing so, he raised his batting average back over .400 and reached enough at-bats to qualify for the PCL batting title. In the next few days, it came out that he might become the second player in modern minor league baseball to hit .400 across a full season. (In 1999, Erubial Durazo hit a combined .404 on two minor league teams before being called up by the Diamondbacks.)
Instead, he went 1-11 over his next three games, fell to .399, and then got called up to the Padres. This meant that he didn’t hit .400. And he did not even qualify for the batting title.
Despite that, Ty delivered one of the most dominant offensive seasons the game has seen this century. He spent parts of four months in the minors, never producing an OPS less than 1.000 in any of them. His “worst” month in July saw him hit .366/.449/.613 – an OPS that would be good for second in the PCL for the year. While he ended up not qualifying for the title and spending 2.5 months with the Padres, he still did enough in half a season to be named the Triple-A MVP.
April 25, 2022: Miguel Cabrera and Ty France shared the honor as co-Players of the Week in the American League.
Cabrera went 7-for-18 at the plate (.389), but no hit carried more impact than his single to right field in the first inning versus the Rockies. That knock made Cabrera the 33rd member of baseball’s 3,000-hit club, and just the seventh with at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.
This marks the 16th time Cabrera has been named Player of the Week. Since the award's inauguration in the NL (1973) and AL (1974), no player has accrued more weekly honors.
France, who leads the Majors in hits (24) and total bases (42), went 13-for-26 (.500) with three home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.436 OPS. He helped the Mariners go 5-1 during the week and jump into first place in the AL West.
France had one of the best games of his career as he set career highs with five hits and five RBIs in a 13-7 victory over the Royals. His 19 RBIs trail only Cleveland’s José Ramirez (20) for the MLB lead. (B Murphy - MLB.com - April 25, 2022)
Ty is most comfortable at third base.
"I’ve always been a third baseman since my freshman year of high school but first base is fun too. There is always something going on and you are more involved in almost every play," France said.
France is just an average athlete, who is a fringy defender at third base, but he's playable and can flip over to first base as needed. (Spring 2019)
Spring 2020: The versatile righthanded hitter is eager to prove his worth. He explains that catching is not a new position for him, though he needs to work on the craft. “I have caught almost every year in pro ball. It is just getting the rust off. I have caught almost my whole life. They told me it is not a position change. It is just about adding another tool in my belt,” France said. Being able to play four or five positions on the field will ensure a long-lasting career for this young ballplayer.
When questioned about the number of gloves he carries with him on a road trip, his answer came after a short pause. “I have four different gloves. Second, third, first, and catcher. I use a smaller glove for second base,” France said.
- September 10, 2021: Ty has only one error in 738 innings played at first base this season, as he continues to fill in for Evan White (season-ending hip injury). France hadn't committed an error at the position through 731 innings, before he finally had one.
2015: Ty suffered an injury in his junior year at San Diego State.
March 8, 2019: France exited the Padres’ 6-5 loss to Oakland after a scary moment in which he was struck in the helmet by a Paul Blackburn pitch. After spending about a minute face-down in the batters' box during the fifth inning, France walked off under his own power. He passed initial concussion protocol in Mesa, but the Padres sent him back to Peoria immediately for further evaluation.
The pitch struck France in the left-ear flap that he wears for added protection. The ball ricocheted and hit France in the jaw. After the game, manager Andy Green indicated that France's jaw was sore and swollen, but that he was fully alert and responsive.
May 14-July 7, 2021: Ty was on the IL with left wrist inflammation.
- June 24, 2022: Ty was on the IL with left elbow sprain.
- May 23, 2023: Moments after attempting to remain in the game after taking a 94.5 mph fastball from A's reliever Trevor May off his left wrist, France was removed from the game.. Initial X-rays came back negative, but manager Scott Servais added that the All-Star first baseman has a contusion and swelling.
"He's going to be sore," Servais said. "We'll have to wait and see, really, day to day. I probably wouldn't expect him to be able to go [on Wednesday]. Maybe the next day. We'll just have to wait and see."
“It’s a scary thing," May said. "You don’t want to throw it by anyone’s face or anything. I don’t know Ty or Suárez personally, but I’ve played against them quite a bit. I know they’re good dudes. You saw what my reactions in those two situations were. I’ll reach out over there and make sure Ty’s OK and that he’s able to play. You don’t want anyone to miss any time because you’re not very sharp.”
France has been sidelined with left arm inj