Chris Colabello’s amazing 2013 added another accolade on Tuesday.
Colabello became the first player to win both the International League most valuable player and the league’s rookie of the year award in the same year since J.T. Snow in 1992. Colabello is hitting .352/.427/.639 for Rochester this season. He leads the International League and the minors in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) and ranks in the top five in on-base percentage.
He’s not your typical International League rookie however. Colabello, 29, spent seven years in the independent leagues after going undrafted out of Assumption (Mass.) College. He hit over .300 in all seven years with the Worcester Tornadoes, winning the Baseball America Independent Leagues Player of the Year award in 2011. He was signed by the Twins after that season, and has kept hitting ever since in time with Double-A New Britain in 2012, with Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, where he hit two home runs in Italy’s surprising run to the second round, and this year at Rochester. He’s currently up with the big league Twins club for the third time this year.
Colabello is the first Rochester player to win the IL MVP award since Jeff Manto in 1994. He’s the club’s first rookie of the year since Randy Ruiz won the award in 2008.
J.D. Martin was named the International League’s most valuable pitcher. Durham manager Charlie Montoyo was named the league’s manager of the year.