A long spate of losing seasons has put the Kansas City Royals in the position of drafting high in the MLB drafts over the past two-plus decades. However, it has only been recently that the organization has been recognized for accumulating one of the best collections of prospects in the game, with the hope that enough of them will blossom into players capable of leading the major league team out of the second division. With Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer having graduated to man the corner spots at the big league level, the Royals are hoping that someone will emerge to claim the middle of the infield, a notorious weakness for years. As things currently stand, it looks like shortstop Christian Colon might be that player.
Colon was born in Puerto Rico, but because of his father’s job in pharmaceuticals, moved frequently throughout his childhood. He even played ball for three different high schools, in Texas, Utah, and California, and was a star wherever he played. The right-handed hitter was chosen as the MVP of the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic in 2006 and batted .435 as a senior in 2007, prompting his selection by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round of that year’s MLB draft. Colon was already committed to attend Cal-State Fullerton and passed up on starting his professional career in favor of college.
The decision to attend college was a good one for Colon. He was an All-American and joined the U.S. National team, becoming the first player in the history of the Collegiate National Team to be named a captain. In 2009 he appeared in 23 games in for the U.S., hitting .459 with 5 home runs, 31 RBI, and 24 stolen bases. Following his junior season in 2010, he was viewed as one of the most complete players in college and was chosen by the Royals with the 4th pick in the first round of that year’s draft.
Some critics initially decried the Royals’ selection of Colon, believing that his potential to become anything more than a solid player was limited. The Royals were happy with their choice, knowing that they had acquired one of the hardest working and most focused players in the draft. Colon has done little to disappoint thus far in his professional career. He has put up two solid, yet unspectacular seasons in High-A and Double-A, and is off to a nice start in Double-A in 2012. You can check out his numbers here. His game is one centered on doing a little bit of everything well. His ceiling is likely that of a .275 hitter with 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases; production the Royals would gladly take from the shortstop position.
Colon chatted with me prior to the start of the season about his time with the Royals and his hopes for the future. You can also give him a follow on Twitter and follow him as he nears the culmination his goal of making the major leagues.
Christian Colon Interview:
Who were your favorite team and player when you were growing up, and why?: I didn’t really follow teams. I would follow players. My favorite players growing up were Roberto Alomar and Derek Jeter because they are the type of player I will want to become one day.
How did you know that the Royals were interested in you?: I actually didn’t know, but I knew they have always had interest since high school. They were the first team to call me out of high school, so that was very cool! Great organization!
Can you describe what your draft day experience was like?: OMG, my day of the draft was amazing best day of my life. I was with most of my teammates at my apartment. We had to play that night for the regional’s, so I told them along with my family that I would only watch the first five picks, then we had to go. Well I got picked and everyone went nuts and crying.
How difficult is it to stand out in an organization with so much young talent?: Not difficult at all because they know who I am and what I can do, and I have been doing everything I can to win and show them I am a winner.
What do you consider to be the best attributes you bring to a baseball team?: I am a baseball player and I can bring a lot to a team. My defense and my offense are there, but one tool that many scouts didn’t see was my ability to lead by example, and determination to be great and be a big leaguer.
If you could do anything differently about your baseball career to date, what would that be?: I don’t think I would change anything about my baseball career honestly.
Have you gotten any instruction or advice from guys like Frank White or George Brett?: Oh yes, from both of those guys. They are awesome to be around and hear all of their stories! They pretty much say to trust your abilities!
Can you run through what a typical day is like for you during the season?: Wake up, go lift, then hit, throw, and eat lunch. Then run again and hang out. For more info, check out my website Colon7.com. More details there! Thank you!