Reflecting on Chris Colabello's Career
It took quite the fairy tale for Colabello to make it to the big leagues. He went undrafted out of college and spent six seasons toiling in the Canadian-American Association as he waited for his chance. The Twins finally gave him an opportunity after Baseball America named him the Independent Leagues Player of the Year. Colabello certainly made the most of his opportunity over the next couple seasons.
His career in affiliated baseball started in Double-A where he was more than 3.5 years older than the average age of the other hitters in the league. Even with the age difference, he went on to have a monster year for New Britain in 2012, leading the Eastern League in doubles and ranking second in RBI. Colabello seemed better than advertised and it was hard not to wonder what he could do as he moved up the ladder.
The 2013 season turned out to be even better as he jumped to Rochester in the International League. He led the league and the minors in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. He was handed plenty of accolades at the end of the season as he was named the MVP and the Rookie of the Year in the International League.
Even the start of the 2014 season looked like Colabello had turned over a new leaf. During the first week of year, he hit .391 (9-for-23) with four doubles, one home run, 11 RBI and four runs scored. He led all AL players in RBI and he ranked second in doubles. He was named co-recipient of the American League's Player of the Week Award.
Things slowly unraveled for Colabello as the league made adjustments to him. After his hot start, he hit .264/.321/.417 for the rest of April. Of his 19 hits, seven were for extra-bases and his strikeout to walk rate was 20 to 6. He not only led the team in RBI in April - he set a team record. But by the end of May he was back in the minors.
Colabello was recalled by the Twins near the start of July but his latest audition didn't go much better. In 19 games he has hit .222/.288/.389 with five extra-base hits and 16 strikeouts. This left Colabello's roster spot in jeopardy. Kennys Vargas has shown some good signs in his first handful of games and Joe Mauer was returning from injury. The Twins might also need Colabello's 40-man roster spot for a player like Alex Meyer.
If this is the end of Colabello's time with the Twins, his story will always be one to remember. From independent baseball to minor league all-star, he had to fight to live out his dream of becoming a big league player. The Twins gave him the opportunity to live his dream and I for one am glad they did...
For more from Cody Christie make sure to follow him on Twitter @NoDakTwinsFan and to read his other work at http://www.NoDakTwinsFan.com
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