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Christian Colon Shows Early Promise For Royals Shortstop Void

Christian Colon
Christian Colon

The Royals knew Christian Colon would sign. That's partially why they took him. But there's no use choosing a player just for the signability factor at the No. 4 overall draft position. There has to be a solid ballplayer in there, even if hardly anyone saw Colon as a Top 4 draft choice.

Nevertheless, Colon instantly became the first of the higher first-round picks to sign and now already has 20 games under his belt in Class A ball for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Cal State-Fullerton product is getting better as he goes along and this early success should place him in Kansas City that much faster, since fellow draftees like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain sitting at home. This choice was intended to be fast-tracked from the start with every move from the initial choice of Colon to his advanced placement to his early signing aiming for the quickest ascent to the top.

The reason? The Royals shortstop position has been a subject of frustration for some time -- and that's putting it lightly. Yuniesky Betancourt simply isn't a good hitter, and everyone in the proverbial room realizes this. His current .683 OPS and last year's abysmal .625 are simply unacceptable at the major league level. Those numbers mirror the worst years of Cezar Izturis and Alex Cora. Then again, that's only the latest streak.

Consider the Royals recent past. Angel Berroa had a .592 OPS in 2006 as the Royals starter. Neifi Perez had an even worse .564 in 2002. Tony Pena and Rey Sanchez didn't fare much better in the years in between and around. In fact, no other franchise even comes close to the horrific results from the shortstop position as the Royals have had in the last decade. It's not even close.

The good news is on the horizon then. Even in his first 27 games, Colon is adjusting to the level of competition, hitting .302 in his last 10 games. There's a long way to go between manning the SS position at the ML level and his current status, but Colon already had promise as a solid first-round choice and Kansas City decided that enough was enough. Even if the pick was high, there was a plan in mind and the Royals have to be pleased with the early results, given both the desperation at the ML level and the promise of what is to come.