Colby Lusignan Finds Love, Power

MIAMI—Burned out, Colby Lusignan decided not to play his senior year at Eustis (Fla.) High, or the year after. His baseball career was seemingly over.

Fortunately for Lusignan, he rediscovered his love for the game and was soon launching baseballs again.

A 6-4, 235-pound lefthanded-hitting first baseman, Lusignan, 24, was the Marlins’ 28th-round pick in 2016 out of Division II Lander. He produced an .891 OPS in his pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

When he quit baseball, Lusignan pursued a career in music production. One day, he accompanied his younger brother to batting practice, where he made a crucial discovery about himself.

“I still had it,” Lusignan said of his power, “and I realized how much I missed the game.”

Lusignan’s first step back was in a collegiate summer league with the Leesburg (Va.) Lightning, where he was discovered by the head coach of Santa Fe CC in Gainesville, Fla.

Lusignan played two years at Santa Fe, where he was similarly discovered by Lander assistant Britt Johnson.

In 99 games at Lander, Lusignan drove in 109 runs. He hit .325 with 10 homers as a junior and .390 with 14 homers as a senior.

Ex-Lander coach Kermit Smith, now the coach at Appalachian State, said he remembers a batting practice homer hit by Lusignan that he estimates traveled 500 feet. The ball went over the 320-foot sign in right and over a 100-foot net that sat another 15 feet back.

“His power is special, more than anyone I’ve ever coached,” Smith said. “He has a very clean and effortless swing.

“Colby is also disciplined in terms of what he eats and how he lifts and conditions.”

Lusignan is more than just a pull hitter.

“His power is from line to line,” Smith said. “He hit as many opposite-field homers as pull-side homers. And they weren’t wall-scrapers. His shots continue to carry.”


The Marlins have high hopes for righthander Edward Cabrera, an 18-year-old Dominican whose fastball reaches 96 mph. He should be able to fill his 6-4, 175-pound frame.

J.T. Riddle, 25, could be in play as a utility infielder for the Marlins this season. A lefthanded hitter, Riddle will likely start the season at Triple-A New Orleans, where he has just 16 games of experience.

— Walter Villa is a writer based in Miami

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