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Thread: Article: The Big Switch: Chris Colabello

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Article: The Big Switch: Chris Colabello


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    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    And he leads the AL in RBI! It's a feel good story, and I hope for Chris and the Twins that he can sustain.

    thanks for the great story John

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    If you've ever had the chance to meet Colabello or talk to him for even 10 minutes, it would surprise no one that he turned down the money to go play in Korea. When I talked to him this spring, he said all the Twins needed to do was tell him that he had a chance and he would turn down the money in South Korea. As he said, he played for basically free in the independent leagues for all those years, it's not about the money. His dream was to play in the big leagues, not elsewhere.

    And the reality was that he certainly always had a chance. Looking at the depth charts, he was certainly the best right-handed bat that was on the bubble, so depending upon roster makeup, he had a chance.

    And, he has made the most of it, coming through in big situations. By doing so, he's earned more playing time for now as well. Jason Kubel has been as good as I expected, and the combination is certainly a positive.

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    Senior Member Triple-A h2oface's Avatar
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    Chris "They tried to make me go to Korea but I said, 'No, no, no.'" Colabello is inspiring. I hope he stays in the lineup, everyday.

    Last edited by h2oface; 04-06-2014 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    I love baseball because of guys like Colabello. I thought he was crazy to turn down the Asian offers he received this offseason.

    Now look at him. Wonderful.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I love baseball because of guys like Colabello. I thought he was crazy to turn down the Asian offers he received this offseason.

    Now look at him. Wonderful.
    Yup. Sure, it could all end tomorrow, but Cola's story has a chance to be an even better one than Evan Gattis or Yangervis Solarte. And how can you not love a guy who turned down lifetime financial security to continue chasing down his lifelong dream?

    I had missed the part about Cola struggling in winter ball- he really was near the end of the line. John nailed it:
    Hollywood would turn down this script as too saccharine.
    I bet there're some great, untold stories on how he was able to keep his dream alive for 7 years in the Can-Am League.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    So when Disney comes to town, who gets to play the Italian version of Colabello?

    First, our subject:

    colabello.jpg
    And some options:

    afleck.jpg
    1. Affleck

    chachi.jpg
    2. Chachi
    rambo.jpg
    3. Balboa... does that rhyme with Colabella?
    wahlberg.png
    4. Papale & Colabello don't rhyme.

    Other???

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    LaBombo (04-07-2014), USAFChief (04-07-2014)

  9. #8
    All the more amazing when you consider his struggles last year. He had that odd stance where he had virtually no chance of hitting a pitch on the outside corner.

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    I never really thought CC had a chance to make it to the Majors. I mean typically scouts find guys like this before they get as old he was. It seemed unlikely that he would possibly be a diamond in the ruff. He was a good Indy league player but would that really translate? Seemed unlikely to me. I really thought he might be making a bad decision not taking the overseas offer as he seemed to have a million dollars for certain going that direction.

    For as much as I have second guessed this guy since the Twins got him I also fell in love with his potential. To me there was always something special about this guy. He seemed to rise to every challenge. Erase every objection you could have about his talent. You have got to give the guy props for believing in himself when a lot of people around him did not. It seems that if you can bust through all of that you should be a good player in the end. I have been rooting for him to make it since he started hitting in AA and I hope he has a good MLB career.

    It is very early to call CC a success as he has only had only one exceptional week in MLB, but I like his odds to make it better now that he seems to have figured some things out. Hopefully he is the diamond in the ruff that the Twins were lucky to find.

  11. #10
    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    I love stories like these. And I hope it continues to play out all year long.

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    Colabello seems to be doing what he has been doing for years, now. I think MLB has an "age-ism" problem...if you don't advance quickly, or have to repeat a level, or are too old for a minor league level, you are written off. It seems to me that the team that capitalizes on this market inefficiency in baseball is going to have success...maybe pulling together a bunch of "AAAA" guys with chips on their shoulders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    Colabello seems to be doing what he has been doing for years, now. I think MLB has an "age-ism" problem...if you don't advance quickly, or have to repeat a level, or are too old for a minor league level, you are written off. It seems to me that the team that capitalizes on this market inefficiency in baseball is going to have success...maybe pulling together a bunch of "AAAA" guys with chips on their shoulders.
    Billy Beane has been doing this for years with AAAA positionless sluggers. He hit paydirt with Jack Cust but mostly he just clogged his roster with guys that couldn't field and didn't hit much either.

    Collabello

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    I love Cola, he's my favorite guy on the current 25-man roster, but are we witnessing his "Andrew Albers" moment? He's still sending almost everything the opposite way (I think yesterday's double was the first time he went left of CF at all). Has any power guy had sustained success doing that?

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    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Hats off to Cola for following the dream instead of the money. Well done. Bonus points for translating for Arcia in the postgames.

    That being said, the stark contrast between the adulation over his nice week and the detached skepticism about Anthony Slama is puzzling.

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    spycake questions hitters having sustained success in going the other way, a good question, what is the answer? And how does one research that? I would think many MLB hitters over the years have had success in doing so but of course do not know for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
    spycake questions hitters having sustained success in going the other way, a good question, what is the answer? And how does one research that? I would think many MLB hitters over the years have had success in doing so but of course do not know for sure.
    The most obvious one is David Ortiz, but that is mainly due to his home ballpark.

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    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
    The most obvious one is David Ortiz, but that is mainly due to his home ballpark.
    Yeah, Fenway will drive a lot of this. Yaz was quite the opposite field guy.

    Mauer, obviously. Thome, too. I'm having a tougher time thinking up righties. Miggy? Bautista?

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    No doubt there have been MLB power hitters who can successfully hit the other way, like Ortiz -- but that's not the question.

    Can a power hitter who *almost exclusively* hits the other way have sustained MLB success? As to the Ortiz example, more than half of Ortiz's career HR have been pulled, according to B-Ref. He's a good hitter who is also good at going the other way.

    Colabello hasn't pulled anything at MLB level yet (B-Ref says 4-22 with no XBH in his career, including a scant 0-for-2 this year so far -- closest he's come I guess is just left of center, which still counts as "up the middle"). Only 10.7% of his career AB have had pull outcomes (infield, outfield, outs,... everything pulled), and it's not trending up. Even Mauer has pulled 15.1% of his AB in his career, Ichiro is 17.3%... and these are left-handed AVG hitters. Can you imagine a RH power bat with a far lower pull rate than them?

    Again, love Cola, just setting out what I want to see before I can really believe: pull the ball! (Although if he can keep leading the league in RBIs in the meantime, I will enjoy that too. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    Yeah, Fenway will drive a lot of this. Yaz was quite the opposite field guy.

    Mauer, obviously. Thome, too. I'm having a tougher time thinking up righties. Miggy? Bautista?
    Ortiz: 25.3% pulled AB
    Thome: 18.6%
    Bautista: 24.7%
    Cabrera: 21.3%

  25. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    Great article. Thank John.

    Can't be happier for the guy.
    Sticking with his dreams and finally playing in MLB. (and rather well, I might add)

    Cool.
    I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.

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