Player Profile: Bartolo Colon

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(Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison)
Colon has exceeded expectations throughout the year. He has seen a career rejuvenation thanks to his new all-burger and fries diet

by Jim Turvey @TBS_Turvey

Colon may have just hit the shelf with a groin strain, but he still has been a huge part of the A’s success this season. With Donaldson as the first batter to get a profile, Bartolo Colon, this year’s most pleasant surprise at pitcher, makes sense to be the first pitcher to get a closer look.

Stats

2013 Statistics: 14-5, .737 W-L% 2.97 ERA, 3 SHO (leading league), 154.1 IP 83 SO, 1.186 WHIP

2013 Advanced Statistics: 128 ERA+ (better than his Cy Young season), 0.6 HR/9, 3.32 SO/BB, 3.7 WAR (his highest total since 2005), 19 QS (only James Shields has more quality starts in the American League this season)

Career Statistics: 185-127, .593 W-L%, 3.98 ERA, 35 CG, 1916 SO, 113 ERA+, 1.318 WHIP, 2.40 SO/BB, 43.3 WAR 2005 Cy Young Award winner

 

Surface Info 

Name: Bartolo Colon

Position: Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Height/Weight: 5’11” 265 lbs.[1]

Background: May 24, 1973; Altamira, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Contract: 1 year, $3 million

Nickname: Credit Matthew Berry with: Big Fat Bartolo Colon or BFBC for short

 

When He Was a Young Warthog

Draft: Signed by Cleveland Indians as undrafted 20-year old free agent

MLB.com Draft Blurb: Since he was not drafted, and has been in the league nearly as long as anybody, there is not a ton of information of scouting reports of Colon before his breakthrough into baseball. One source states, “Colón grew up in a home without electricity, running water or indoor plumbing in the town of Altamira in the Dominican Republic. He does major charity work for his old community,” which certainly sounds reasonable, but I wasn’t able to back up the source.

Scouts’ Pluses and Minuses Coming Out of the Draft: Again, no definite source, but the fact that he won his league’s Pitcher of the Year as well as the Indians’ Minor League Player of the Year in 1995, shows he was well regarded while playing in the minor leagues.

Baseball America Ranks:[2] #15 prospect in baseball 1995; #14 prospect in baseball 1996

 

Fun Stuff 

Quirky In-game Habits: Colon has, as you’d expect, a very minimalist approach to his windup.  Aside from falling off to the first-base side of the rubber on occasion, his windup looks effortless, and is very smooth.

Quirky Out-of-game Fact: Well, if Deadspin can be trusted, then Colon using the extra tissue from his hip/butt area to replace injured tissue in his torn rotator cuff has to qualify as a quirky habit for sure.

Relevant Articles: http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/as-pitcher-bartolo-colon-becoming-bud-seligs-worst-nightmare/Content?oid=2467273; http://swinginas.com/2013/06/05/bartolo-colon-his-importance-and-the-swirling-winds-of-biogenesis/; http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/66252/the-re-rise-of-bartolo-colonhttp://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2013/08/15/the-bartolo-colon-2012-2013-timeline-ped-suspension-all-star-berth-non-suspension-performance-dip/; http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/29/why-exactly-do-we-suspect-bartolo-colon-of-using-peds/ 

Best Wiki Nugget: “Early in his career, Colon had excellent speed on his four-seam fastball, throwing it in the mid 90s and occasionally touching 100 mph.” This is especially impressive considering how evident it is that he has rebuilt himself for pitching today, using the movement on his fastball much more than the speed he previously used.

Best E-bay Item: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Los-Angeles-Angels-Of-Anaheim-Bartolo-Colon-Babooshkahs-W-COA-/221247094445?pt=US_Baseball_Fan_Shop&hash=item33835abead

There have to be two questions here:

1)    Why on earth did the Angels organization create Bartolo Colon babushka dolls (it was part of a series!)?

2)    Why on earth is baseballbaseballmann (solid user name) selling it for less than a couple grand? This is clearly one of the best items that can be found in the entire interwebs.

Best Tweet about Colon: @ JaneMLB: Colon: “I feel better right now than last year. I worked more than last year. Even though I’m still fat. But that don’t mean nothing.”

Most Offensive Headline about Colon: “Bartolo Colon – Fat, Gross, Unathletic, Suspended, PED Abuser…And Gay?” Amazingly the article manages to be even more offensive and ignorant than the title. I know, I’m amazed too

 

Interesting Tidbits

Won a battle of epic proportions against Ricky Gutierrez on June 26th of 1998, when he got Ricky to strike out after twenty pitches.

Colon still relies heavily on his fastball (84.7% of his pitches) in particular his two-seamer[3] (48.1%) this season, but it is actually down from 89.2% last season.

His current season is the highest rate of fastball usage for qualified pitchers since 2009.

Before this revival, there was a five-year stretch (2006-2010) during which he made a grand total of 47 starts.

 

“A” Rating: I was tempted to give him “Double D’s,” but that joke has been pushed a little far,[4] plus who couldn’t love BFBC: A-


[2] Each year represents Baseball America’s rank at the end of that season

[3] Because of how much action his two-seamer has, some websites list it as a sinker instead

[4] Just like Colon’s belt (God I can’t help it)

Author: Jim Turvey

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