Royals Pick Colon To Build Infield Of The Future
KANSAS CITY—By picking Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon fourth overall, the Royals feel they have selected three-quarters of their future infield with first-round picks in the past four drafts.
The Royals' future infield could have Colon, 21, at shortstop, 21-year-old third baseman Mike Moustakas, the second overall pick in 2007, 20-year-old first baseman Eric Hosmer, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft.
That is the Royals' blueprint.
"No question," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "That was part of the thought process with Colon's selection. We selected him with the idea he can move with that group of players.
"He's a difference maker. He makes people around him better. He's a winner. He can impact his teammates and the organization. This guy has been on championship teams his whole life. We selected him with the idea he can move with that group of players."
Colon hit .352 with 16 doubles, 16 home runs, 64 RBIs and 12 stolen bases as a junior. He struck out just 66 times in 751 at-bats, while walking 68 times in his college career.
"His walks to strikeouts have always been outstanding," Royals scouting director J.J. Picollo said. "His batting average has always been high. This year saw a spike in his home run production and his RBIs going up. I think that's just a sign of a kid who has matured even more as a hitter. He knows to lift the ball in hitters' counts. He's a smart player. I think he's got surprising power."
Colon led Team USA's college national team in 2009 with 34 hits, 37 RBIs, five home runs and 24 stolen bases and was Baseball America's Summer Player of the Year. He also suffered a broken leg while playing last summer. Colon was the first player in the history of the college national team to be named captain.
"He's a tremendous leader" Picollo said. "Everywhere he's been, he's been part of winning programs. He fits a need for this organization from a shortstop standpoint. He's going to fit in well with the other prospects we have in the system. He's the perfect guy for our system."
The Royals have no plans of moving Colon from shortstop, although his range has been questioned.
"He's a shortstop," Picollo said. "He has been a shortstop his whole life. In our opinions, he's the best in the country."
• The Royals claimed righthander Kanekoa Texeira off waivers from the Mariners, who had selected him from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft last December.
• Lefthanded reliever Blaine Hardy, who was 1-0, 0.69 with four saves in 12 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, was promoted to Triple-A Omaha, where he has a 0.00 ERA and allowed three hits in his first eight innings. Hardy was a 2008 22nd-round pick.