JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Former Carson-Newman catcher Kevin Franchetti has signed a professional baseball contract with the Normal Cornbelters of the Frontier League.
Franchetti signed his contract last Friday and faced off against the Gateway Grizzlies in his opening appearance for the Cornbelters.
"What's really nice is that it's a great kid and a good leader, he was everything we were told he was going to be and more," C-N head baseball coach Tom Griffin said. "There's interest because he's a big strong physical kid with a great arm and a lot of power. He doesn't always have the ability to make contact, but he has a lot of tools at his disposal to create interest."
In his lone season at Carson-Newman, Franchetti batted. 259 with a team best eight home runs. Where his star shined brightest was on the defensive side of the diamond. Franchetti had just eight passed balls all year.
"Not many kids get this opportunity to get paid to play and play in a Frontier league that's a well known independent league," Griffin said. "There weren't many better defensive catchers. He should have been our league's Gold Glove winning catcher hands down. He's the best at blocking it, at calling the game, hands down."
He picked off runners on two occasions, accounting for a third of the Eagles' pickoffs in 2013. He also threw out 17 of the 43 runners that tried to steal on him. His caught stealing percentage was the highest in the SAC prior to the conference tournament.
"We've been fortunate having some kids come in and develop players," Griffin said. "We'd rather develop kids than have a great player come in and do what we want. We've got a good rapport with professional scouts who know the type of kid we produce – a hard-working, disciplined kid. It lets the other guys in the program know that they too have a shot if they do the right things at the right time in front of the right set of eyes."