In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we are going to look at the last player in this series that is a non-roster invitee, infielder Christian Colon.
Christian Colon’s Background
Acquired: 1st Round, 4th overall draft pick in 2010 (Kansas City). Signed as a minor league free agent with Cincinnati in December 2018 with an invitation to Major League spring training.
Born: May 14, 1989
Height/Weight: 5′ 10″ / 195 lbs
Years of MLB Experience: Four
The expectations were high for Christian Colon coming out of Cal State Fullerton. He was the 4th overall draft pick and was coming off of a season in college where he had hit .358/.450/.631 with almost twice as many walks as strikeouts. Not bad for a shortstop. But as he moved through the minors, the power he showed in college never showed up. He kept showing good plate discipline, and a solid average and wound up making his Major League debut in 2014. He would see parts of seasons in the Majors from 2014-2017, but spent his entire season in 2018 in Triple-A.
Christian Colon’s 2018 Season
As noted above, the 2018 season was the first once since 2013 where Christian Colon didn’t see action in the Major Leagues. He began his season in Triple-A with the Braves in Gwinnett. Colon was playing most days, but not every day. Through 16 games he was hitting just .204/.278/.204 (not a typo). At that point he was released by the Braves. The New York Mets picked him up on a minor league deal on May 18th. New York assigned him to their Triple-A team in Las Vegas and he began playing immediately. Things were a bit slow the rest of the month. But he turned things up from there. In the 68 games played from June through the end of the Triple-A season he hit .320/.423/.475 with 34 walks and 21 strikeouts in 260 plate appearances.
Christian Colon’s Playing History
As the #4 overall pick in the draft out of college, the Kansas City Royals were understandably aggressive with Christian Colon. They sent him directly to Advanced-A the year he was drafted. He held his own, hitting .278/.326/.380 with 13 walks and 33 strikeouts in 60 games. The next year, his first full season, they sent him to Double-A. He struggled there, hitting .257/.325/.342 with 46 walks and 51 strikeouts. He returned to Double-A the next season and improved, hitting .289/.364/.392 and got a late season promotion to Triple-A where he played in five games.
For the next year-and-a-half he spent his time in Triple-A before getting a short call up to Kansas City to begin July of 2014. He was only there for 10 days before returning to Omaha in Triple-A. He’d return to the Majors in August and September that season. The next season was split evenly between Triple-A and the minors where he posted nearly identical lines. In 2016 most of his season with in Kansas City, but he struggled – posting a .586 OPS. Another tough start with the Royals in 2017 led to his being placed on waivers, and claimed in mid-May by the Marlins. He would spend time in Miami for a handful of weeks, but spent most of his time in Triple-A.
Projecting Christian Colon for 2019
Two of the projection systems took a stab at projecting Christian Colon for 2019. They see things a little bit differently.
ZiPS Projections | Steamer Projections | Marcels Projections
How could Christian Colon fit in Cincinnati in 2019?
There’s probably not a spot on the 25-man roster to open the season in Cincinnati for Christian Colon. What he can do is be a strong backup shortstop option in Triple-A if the Reds need to call up a middle infielder from Triple-A. He can play second or shortstop.