Meet Christian Colon, a young version (OK, potentially) of Omar Infante
JUL 09, 2014 12:23p ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Christian Colon, the Royals' first-round pick in 2010, might never be the superstar fans would logically expect from a fourth overall pick in a draft.
But the Royals are comfortable projecting that Colon, in a full season in the majors, could wind up hitting about .280 with 20-25 doubles, 10-12 homers, 50 or so RBI and perhaps 10-15 timely steals.
And they project Colon to be above-average defensively at second base.
If all of that reminds you of anyone, it should: Those projections basically are Omar Infante's career in a nutshell, especially lately. In 2012, Infante hit .274 with 12 homers, 53 RBI and 17 steals. Last year, Infante hit .318 with 10 homers and 51 RBI.
Infante is a career .279 hitter.
All of this might be of at least some small comfort to those fans still bewildered that the Royals passed on Chris Sale and Matt Harvey in that 2010 draft.
"You know, we never started to make that comparison to Omar," Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said by phone, "until we started seeing Omar play every day.
"But there definitely could be a strong comparison. If you look at Christian's numbers in the minors, they are almost identical to the type of offensive player Omar is. And we think there won't really be a drop-off in Christian's numbers going from the minors to the big leagues."
Last season, for example, Colon finished at .273 at Triple-A Omaha with 12 homers, 58 RBI and 15 steals. This season he was on pace to hit about 10 homers while batting over .290.
"The other comparison is that like Omar, Christian has great instincts for the game," Picollo said. "He does the smart thing out on the field. He's not a speedy guy, but when the situation presents itself, he can sniff out the right time for a stolen base or taking the extra base.
"He also handles the bat well, has some pop in his bat and goes the other way to get a runner over -- a good situational hitter. And, of course, he's solid in the field."
Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing. Again, that sounds an awful lot like Infante.
And likely the strongest comparison between Infante and Colon has to do with leadership and maturity.
"I think the biggest adjustment for Christian when he became a pro was the attitude he was surrounded with in the minors," Picollo said. "He has always been a leader -- he was a captain in high school and a captain at Cal State-Fullerton, and he's all about winning.
"He's a big-picture guy where the team always comes first, and then he got to the minors and you have everyone obviously concerned about their own careers and their advancement, and he's not like that. He is all about winning games each night, and that's all he thinks about."
And as we have come to know Infante, that is all he thinks about, too.