Monday, March 11, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #12 Christian Colon

12. Christian Colon Short Stop
Age: 24
Position: SS
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 180
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st Round (4th Overall) of the 2010 Amateur Draft
From: Cayey, Puerto Rico

Paden Bennett (17):  My hype for Christian Colon has dramatically decreased since we drafted him in the 1st round of the 2010 Amateur draft.  Colon just really hasn't ever progressed.  Instead he has just remained pretty average with the ability to make contact.  He could be a solid defensive second baseman but I just don't see his bat really coming around which will hold him back from being an every day player in this league.  However, I put him at 17th on my list because with the gap at 2B for the Royals (though I still love Giavotella) he has the shot to step his game up and make a push.  Let's hope he figures it out this season.

Joe Cox (12)Christian Colon has been talked about as a Kansas City prospect for a few years now, and though his value has diminished some as a prospect, he still has valuable skills at a major position of need.  Colon turns 24 in May and I think he should have a chance to be the everyday second baseman by the All-Star break.  Colon’s greatest skill is his ability to make contact, striking out only 27 times in 273 AA at bats while walking 31 times. 

Most scouts feel that he should not play shortstop at the major league level, but those same scouts say that he has the skills to be a plus fielder at second.  Other than making contact, Colon does not do anything great, but does a little bit of everything with the bat, swatting 5 homeruns and stealing 12 bases in AA last season.  Colon is a ‘high floor’ prospect who does not have a ceiling of anything more than a second division starter, but he could be considered an upgrade over Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella for the major league club as early as this year.

Damion Mandalas (15): Over the past few seasons, we have heard Colon compared to Placido Polanco on numerous occasions. Now many Royals fans would have winced at this comp at the time of Colon's selection as the #4 overall pick in the 2010 draft. At this point, Royals fans should not be too upset if this proves to be accurate. Polanco is a career .299/.344/.403 hitter that has compiled 42 fWAR over fifteen career seasons.

Colon's development is about a year to a year and a half behind that of Polanco, but thus far his numbers compare very favorably to the former 19th round pick. As a minor leaguer, Polanco struck out in 7.5% of his plate appearances, Colon has struck out 9.3% of the time. However, Colon's walk percentage of 8% is stronger than Polanco's, which stood at 4.7%. Colon also has the edge in ISO at .097 to .065.

Colon might be fringey as a short stop, but as Joe stated, there is good reason to believe that he will be more than capable as he shifts to the other side of the second base bag. There's good reason to still believe that he can develop into a solid regular at second base, but the floor is that of a quality utility man at the Major League level. The Royals drafted Colon with the hope that he could be the long term answer at short stop. That hole is now filled, but Colon could still be the long term answer at second base.

Dan Ware (11):  If Colon wants to be the second baseman for the Royals in 2013, now is the time to step it up a notch.  There is quite the battle this Spring to secure a spot next to Hosmer on the diamond that includes Giavotella, Getz, and Falu.  There are only 2 ways I envision Colon ever seeing time at shortstop in Kansas City: Heaven for bid something were to happen to Escobar and requires some time on the DL, or if Colon is used primarily as a utility infielder.  Even though he has been playing at SS in the minors, he is considered to show above average range at second.

As for the bat, it has always been labeled as his best tool.  For the most part, it has kept its promise.  This past offseason, he played 39 games in the Puerto Rico Winter League and compiled a promising .301/.363/.386 line.  If Giavotella, or even Getz, can't hold up their end of the bargain in Kansas City, Colon could very well get a call-up.  The battle for second base is too early to tell with ST just starting, as all four candidates haven't done bad jobs at all.  Unfortunately, Colon is at the bottom of the table with just 1 hit in his first 6 at bats, but his plate appearances will surely increase as we get into March.

Total Points: 69

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