Faith and talent lead Camas’ Tyler Forner to pro baseball


Camas Class of 2020 standout signs with San Francisco Giants organization

The sports news out of Camas late last week featured an athlete signing a professional baseball contract.

The way Tyler Forner announced his deal shows that he is more than just a talented baseball player.

Tyler Forner, a recent graduate from Camas High School, thanked God first as he announced his deal with the San Francisco Giants organization. Photo courtesy Tyler Forner
Tyler Forner, a recent graduate from Camas High School, thanked God first as he announced his deal with the San Francisco Giants organization. Photo courtesy Tyler Forner

“God is so good,” he opened his message on social media, detailing his next move, to sign with the San Francisco Giants organization.

In his brief message, he mentioned God seven more times.

“The biggest thing is seeing the bigger picture, knowing God is above all,” Forner said in a phone interview Wednesday. “The outcome of a game is nothing compared to making disciples of people, and people seeing the light in me and giving glory to Him. It’s not me. The biggest thing, it’s not me. It’s all God.”

His faith has made Forner into the man he is today, and, he says, has helped him on the baseball field. With or without sports, though, he would still want to share his message.

In his younger years, he had known about Christianity but did not live it.

“My family had a little taste of Jesus in their lives. Seeds were planted,” Forner said. “Later we found out that’s how God works sometimes.”

Forner was in the eighth grade when a friend, Grant Spady, invited him to a service at Grace Church in Camas.

“God touched me. You just feel different,”  Forner said. “God touches you in different ways in your life and touches your heart. I started to feel His love. I started to feel strong with the Lord, and I felt like we could keep going with it and get stronger in our faith.”

That summer, Forner went to a camp with Young Life. 

“It’s hard to describe how God works at those camps, but he definitely touches your heart and points you toward Him,” Forner said. 

“There’s that moment. It brings you to tears,” Forner said. “We all kind of lost it. We had been bawling about everything we had gone through without Jesus. The difference in life without Jesus was insane. I found Him, and I ended up getting baptized a few weeks later.

“It was a new me. There are hiccups everywhere, but surrendering more and more to Him over the years has been the big thing.”

In high school, his faith grew, and so did his talents on the field. Forner was a key member of Camas’ Class 4A state championship football team in the fall. 

Tyler Forner, shown here in 2019 with the Camas Papermakers, did not get a chance to play baseball this spring. A young man of faith, he said this is all in God’s plan for him. He recently agreed to a professional baseball contract with the San Francisco Giants organization. Photo by Kris Cavin
Tyler Forner, shown here in 2019 with the Camas Papermakers, did not get a chance to play baseball this spring. A young man of faith, he said this is all in God’s plan for him. He recently agreed to a professional baseball contract with the San Francisco Giants organization. Photo by Kris Cavin

In the spring of 2019, Camas made it to state in baseball and had a fantastic returning team for 2020. Of course, that baseball team never got a chance to play a game. The pandemic of 2020 ended the opportunity to win football and baseball titles in the same academic year.

Also, last summer, Forner was invited to the Area Code Games and the Scout Games for his baseball abilities. That is when it really hit him that he had a chance to do so much in the game. Then there were reports of him being drafted right out of high school by a Major League Baseball club.

Well, the pandemic changed the way the draft was executed this year. Only five rounds instead of the traditional 40 rounds.

Forner, undrafted, became a free agent. Oh, he could have gone to college, but he knew if a pro team showed interest, he wanted to start his career right away.

“There is a side of me, you want to hear your name called (in the draft),” Forner said. “At the same time, there are so many different paths. God makes good out of every situation. I knew,  praying on it, this is the path God wants me.”

Now, he is a member of the San Francisco Giants organization, an outfielder. Besides the signing bonus, the Giants also have assured Forner that they will pay for two years of college. Forner already has his two-year degree as a Running Start student. 

With the pandemic, he is not sure when he will report to Arizona for training as a professional. He is ready whenever.

“I just felt so confident. I had put so much work and it all played out,” Forner said. “I felt so blessed to sign, but at the same time, I just knew it was the start. It wasn’t anything to be like, ‘I’m done.’ I have so much to prove, and I’m so ready to start working on the professional side and see where I can go. It’s just the ticket to get me in.”

He will not be going to pro baseball alone. He will bring his faith. 

“I want to perform at a high level to show how good God is,” Forner said.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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