Yesterday the Cleveland Indians promoted right-handed relief pitcher Joseph Colon to the major league roster, adding his arm to the bullpen staff. At age 27 he is not the classic rookie prospect but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. Here’s a quick summary.
Colon was drafted by the Indians out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in the 12th round back in 2009. He performed reasonably well at the lower levels but never quite broke through as a prospect. That began to change with a shift to the bullpen in 2015 and his 2016 season was quite notable, with an 0.82 ERA in 22 inning in Triple-A, 21/12 K/BB.
He did miss the first 50 games of the 2016 season with a “drug of abuse” suspension but was impressive enough when he came back to earn a trial in the majors last September, posting a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings with a 10/7 K/BB.
Colon was excellent in Triple-A again this year, giving up just one run in 10.1 innings with an 8/3 K/BB.
Listed at 6-0, 180, Colon was born February 18, 1990. As you might expect from a former starter he has a diverse arsenal, featuring a four-seam fastball up to 96 MPH, a two-seam fastball around 94 MPH, a slider in the mid-80s, a change-up in the low-80s, and a curve in the upper-70s. He can hit any velocity notch between 75 and 96 MPH and he usually throws strikes.
Colon has nothing left to prove in Triple-A and could fit nicely in a major league pen. Although he’s thrived in short relief, he has the arsenal to be a long reliever or spot starter if necessary.