- Full name Christian Anthony Colón
- Born 05/14/1989 in Cayey, Puerto Rico
- Profile Ht.: 5'10" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Cal State Fullerton
- Debut 07/01/2014
Drafted in the 1st round (4th overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2010 (signed for $2,750,000).
View Draft ReportAs a junior at Anaheim's Canyon High, Colon played second base and formed a double-play combo with Grant Green, the 13th overall selection in last year 's draft by the Athletics out of Southern California. Colon was a 10th-round pick of the Padres 2007. Disappointed that he was not chosen earlier, he went off to play at Cal State Fullerton, where the 6-foot, 200-pounder has emerged as one of the nation's premier middle infielders. Colon was enjoying a brilliant summer in 2009 when he broke his leg when sliding in a game against Canada. Chosen as Team USA's captain, Colon still earned Summer College Player of the Year honors, but the injury seemed to contribute to a slow start to his 2010 season. A three-homer game against Washington in late March seemed to revive his bat, though, and his numbers were back in familiar territory. One of the nation's better hitters, Colon uses a distinct upper-cut in his swing, looking to lift and drive the ball. That approach is not typical for a smaller middle infielder, but Colon shows terrific bat speed as his barrel connects with the ball. He also is patient and makes consistent contact; despite his power approach, he's one of the toughest players to strike out in Division I thanks to excellent barrel awareness. He's a skilled hitter who hits behind runners, bunts and executes the hit-and-runs effectively. Defensively, Colon's range is limited, and his speed and arm are below-average for a shortstop. He does exhibit fluid and quick fielding actions and his playmaking ability is outstanding. His frame offers little room for projection, and offensively he can be streaky. For scouts who focus on what he can do, his tremendous hands and footwork, as well as his bat control, make him a future big league regular, best suited as an offensive second baseman.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Colon was the first player ever named team captain of the USA Baseball collegiate national team and was a key member of Cal State Fullerton's 2009 College World Series team. He might be better known as the player the Royals drafted fourth overall in 2010 instead of Chris Sale. Colon made his big league debut in 2014 and earned a spot on the postseason roster. Colon doesn't have any one exceptional tool, but he is productive because he does everything well enough. He's a below-average runner, but he's heady enough to steal a bag against a slow pitcher. He's an average defender at second, a tick below that at third and a below-average defender at shortstop who can fill in as a backup. He doesn't make many flashy plays, but he is reliable and sure-handed. At the plate, Colon's whole-field approach is geared to hit for average with below-average power. Colon is ready to be the Royals' utility infielder, and he could grow into a slightly larger role. As a regular, his only fit would be at second base.
At this point, it's highly unlikely that Colon ever will live up to the expectations that come with being the fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft, but he should make it to the big leagues for the first time in 2014. It's been a slow climb for the middle infielder, who was expected to move quickly when he was drafted as a heady shortstop whose feel for the game made his average tools play up. Instead, his heady approach is all that has kept his below-average tools from sinking his big league chances. A teammate of future Athletics first-round pick Grant Green in high school and Giants 2010 first-rounder Gary Brown at Cal State Fullerton, Colon has proven to have a lot more 40 grades on his scouting report than 50s. He has below-average power and is a below-average runner with below-average range and a below-average arm at shortstop, though those limitations are diminished when he slides over to second base. He's a sure-handed infielder at any spot. He did steal 15 bases thanks to his baseball intelligence. He's an average hitter, with strong contact ability his best attribute. The Royals spent the first two-thirds of the 2013 season looking for a second baseman without calling up Colon. He will head to spring training with a chance to make the big league team as a utility infielder.
If Colon had been drafted 20th overall in 2010 he would likely be seen as a safe productive pick. But because he went fourth overall, ahead of pitchers the Royals desperately need such as Chris Sale and Matt Harvey, Colon's steady climb toward the majors has seemed less impressive. Signed for $2.75 million, he was slowed in 2012 by a pair of freak injuries. He missed the Double-A Texas League all-star game and lost six weeks after hurting his foot when he stepped on a bat, then saw his season end three weeks early in mid-August when he fouled off a ball that hit him in the face. The latter injury didn't affect his vision. Colon's eventual move to second base became more obvious once the Royals signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a long-term deal last March. Colon's tools fit better at second, as his average range is less of an issue there than it is at shortstop. He's average across the board in terms of his bat, speed and arm, with his power projecting as slightly below-average. He controls the strike zone well, and his exceptional instincts help him maximize his physical ability. Scouts from outside the organization expect Colon will end up as a solid utility infielder, but Kansas City still views him as an everyday second baseman and hopes he'll push for the job in late 2013 after more time in Triple-A Omaha.
In 2010, the Royals had the fourth pick in a draft with a clear-cut top three prospects. Colon attracted the Royals because he was willing to sign for MLB's recommended $2.75 million slot bonus and because he gave them a shortstop prospect at a time when the team had no shortstop of the future. Since then, Kansas City has acquired Alcides Escobar in the Zack Greinke trade and Colon has struggled in Double-A. When he was drafted, scouts questioned whether he had a true plus tool outside of his bat. His hitting hasn't lived up to expectations during his short pro career, however. Colon became too pull-happy in his first full pro season, transferring his weight too early and becoming easy pickings for quality breaking balls. He has bat speed and gap power, and he controls the strike zone well, but he's going to have to tone down his approach. Colon will have to hit to make an impact because he's a tick below-average defender at shortstop, largely because of troubles ranging to his right. He has average arm strength and fringy speed. Colon played second base in the Arizona Fall League and showed he could be a plus defender there. He won't move Escobar at shortstop and will have to prove he can out-hit Johnny Giavotella at second base. If he can't, Colon's path to the big leagues may be as a utility infielder. He'll head back to Northwest Arkansas to begin 2012.
Though there was no clear-cut No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 draft, the Royals were pleased to get the highly skilled Colon. Baseball America's 2009 Summer Player of the Year, he led the Big West Conference with 17 homers last spring. He signed quickly for MLB's slot recommendation of $2.75 million, enabling him to play 60 games in high Class A. Outside of his bat, Colon's tools grade mostly as average, but his consistency and feel for the game let him play well above his pure physical ability. His best attribute is his ability to make solid contact, which allows him to hit for average and project as a No. 2 hitter. He has a quick bat and his hands work well, allowing him to drive the ball to the opposite field even when he gets caught out on his front foot. His average power will really stand out if he can remain at shortstop, which is in question because he has fringy speed and limited quickness. He doesn't have outstanding range, but he can make all the routine plays with his solid hands and average arm. At worst, he should be an offensive second baseman. By signing quickly, Colon put himself in position to move to Double-A in 2011. When the Royals' youth movement really takes hold the following year, he could be their starting shortstop.
Minor League Top Prospects
Of the top 12 picks in the 2010 draft, only Colon signed quickly and for MLB's slot recommendation. The No. 4 overall choice, he reported to Wilmington in late June after receiving a $2.75 million bonus. He may not have the huge ceiling associated with such a high pick, but scouts considered him the draft's safest bet to deliver on his potential. Colon's best tool is his bat. He makes consistent hard contact and generates surprising power, perhaps enough to hit 15 homers annually in the majors. He's an average runner whose speed plays up on the bases because of his instincts. Whether Colon can remain at shortstop remains to be seen. He gets the most out of his range and arm strength, but both are fringy tools for the position. Though he may profile better as an offensive second baseman, the Royals will give him every chance to make it as a shortstop. "He's a good defender who went up the middle pretty well and had an accurate arm," Holbert said. "I would say he has average arm strength. He has a good, level swing. I saw average runner, but I think he did well in his first year of pro ball."