Christian Colon and Nick Franklin have a similar backstory: a former first-round pick who dominated the minor leagues, made his debut early and struggled while displaying good walk numbers and improving strikeout numbers in the show.
Colon was the fourth-overall pick by the Royals out of baseball powerhouse Cal-State Fullerton in 2010.
While he did not hit as well as Franklin in the low minors, he did post double-digit home runs and stolen bases while limiting his strikeouts.
Colon debuted in 2014 but has only earned 386 plate appearances over four seasons. He has posted a .252/.315/.315 line with one home run, five stolen bases and a 73 wRC+.
The former Royal offers less positional versatility than Franklin but is a stronger defender at second base, posting a very nice 7.2 UZR in 478 career innings.
Colon is 28 and has yet to hit consistently in the Majors.
However, his career 7.8% walk-rate and plus defense means he is only a little shy of being a glove first, light-hitting regular at the keystone.
He won’t develop into a star, but for a team scouring the market for inexpensive contributors, Colon is worth the investment.
Detroit Tigers fans are entering a rebuilding phase that may test the resolve of even their most loyal fans.
Finding potential hidden gems like Franklin and Colon will help bridge the gap while the team allows their prospects to develop on the farm.