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Dec. 5, 2020

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Camas outfielder Tyler Forner signs professional contract with the San Francisco Giants

Former Bay Area resident says signing with club was lifelong dream

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
2 Photos
Camas High School graduate Tyler Forner has signed with professional contract wit the San Francisco Giants (Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin)
Camas High School graduate Tyler Forner has signed with professional contract wit the San Francisco Giants (Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin) Photo Gallery

Tyler Forner’s plan for his senior year at Camas High School was to be a state champion on the football field and a state champion on the baseball diamond.

After achieving his goal on the gridiron, the coronavirus pandemic prevented the second half of Forner’s plan from coming to fruition.

So instead the recent high school graduate will have to settle for being a state champion in football, a San Francisco Giant in baseball.

“This is so awesome,” Forner said of his signing with the Giants. “There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate this spring, with all that has been going on. Then when the draft was shortened to five rounds, I wasn’t quite sure what would happened. But God led me down a different path. I had faith in Him and confidence in myself.”

Forner said he has been in contact with scouts from the Giants, as well as other teams, dating back to his junior year at Camas, when he was a first-team all-4A Greater St. Helens League outfielder for the Papermakers.

“They told me they were looking forward to coming to see me play this season,” Forner said. “But then our season was canceled.”

To complicate matters further, the 2020 first-year player draft was shortened from 40 rounds to five, when it was held last week, leaving players like Forner with uncertainty.

But Giants officials reached out to Forner after the draft. Forner said he had Zoom calls that included Giants manager Gabe Kaplar, general manager Scott Harris and members of the team’s player development staff.

“They told me they liked my skillset, my athleticism, what I was able to do in the weight room,” Forner said. “They watched film of me playing football, and they liked how I moved. They said they were impressed with my potential. I’ve been playing multiple sports for so long, and they are excited to see what I can do when I just focus on baseball.”

After those conversations, Forner said he was convinced the Giants were the right fit for him. He put pen to paper on his professional contract on Friday.

“Well, pen to computer, I guess,” he said.

Forner was spending some time at a beach house with his girlfriend’s family. Forner’s family — his father Wade, mother Wendy, sister Katelynn — were all down in Arizona where Forner’s younger brothers, twins Jared and Anthony, are playing in baseball games with Northwest Futures.

“They are just so excited,” Forner said of his parents. “They love it. I’ve been hearing from parents of other players who are down in Arizona, and all they say is how excited my parents have been.”

Forner said the Giants told him they’d like to get him down to Arizona, as well, where the team has its training facilities. But because of the pandemic, it is uncertain when that will happen.

The Giants have a Class A minor-league affiliate in Keizer, Ore., but that was one of the clubs scheduled to be cut in Major League Baseball’s plan to contract its minor-league system. The Giants have other Class A teams in Augusta, Ga., and San Jose, Calif.

Forner’s family lived in San Mateo, Calif., just south of San Francisco, when Tyler was a preschooler. The family still makes frequent trips to the Bay Area. During one trip when Tyler was 13, the family got to tour the Oracle Park, the Giants’ home stadium.

“We knew someone who was able to get us on the field,” Forner said. “I have pictures of me up on the mound, in the dugout, in the clubhouse. I was sharing those pictures with the Giants (officials) during our Zoom calls, and they thought it was awesome.”

Forner said it felt like he was meant to be a Giant.

“This was all God’s plan, and I give all glory to Him,” Forner said. “And I’m excited, so thankful for the opportunity and the confidence the Giants have shown in me.”