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Former St. Francis star Christian Bergman hoping to transition to majors

With aspirations of playing in the majors, one-time Golden Knights' standout pitcher enjoying success while moving up in the minor leagues.

August 14, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Former St. Francis High pitcher Christian Bergman, of the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, has stabilized himself mentally and physically on the mound after being promoted from the single-A Modesto Nuts following last season. (Courtesy of Rich Crimi)
Former St. Francis High pitcher Christian Bergman, of…

No matter the level of competition, seamless transitions are nothing out of the ordinary for Christian Bergman.

He began that success while once standing out on the baseball diamond at St. Francis High before being drafted by the Colorado Rockies out of UC Irvine and advancing to the double-A stage with the Tulsa Drillers. He’s been showered with numerous accolades while piling up victories, including being selected to participate in the Texas League’s All-Star Game for the first time.

Bergman’s burgeoning career continues to ascend in his quest to possibly pitch at the majors. He’s not shy about handling all assignments presented to him.

“Things have been coming along very nicely for me, and I see myself improving,” said Bergman, who was named the All-Area Baseball Player of the Year in 2006 after helping the Golden Knights reach the CIF Southern Section Division II championship contest. “If I make a mistake, I learn from it pitch by pitch.

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“I want to be able to go out there and make as much progress as I possibly can. It’s about staying on top of things from the mental standpoint.”

Bergman, who was drafted by Colorado in the 24th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, has stabilized himself mentally and physically on the mound at Tulsa after being promoted from the single-A Modesto Nuts following last season. In 24 appearances with Tulsa, Bergman is 8-7 with a 3.27 earned-run average. He’s struck out 102 and walked 23 in 151 1/3 innings.

He arrived in Tulsa with some impressive credentials. In 2012, Bergman finished 16-5 with a 3.65 ERA. In 162 2/3 innings, Bergman struck out 121 and was named the California League’s Pitcher of the Year. He became just the second player in Modesto’s history to win 16 games in a season.

Those numbers earned Bergman, 25, a trip to Oklahoma. He crossed over a pair of time zones with Modesto catcher Dustin Garneau and pitching coach Darryl Scott to help fortify the Drillers.

With Bergman helping lead the charge, Tulsa won the first-half championship in the league’s North Division. By accomplishing that feat, the Drillers (61-59) will take part in the postseason in September.

“The team and I were able to get off to great starts,” Bergman said. “You know going in that there’s going to be a big difference in the talent level in this league.

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