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Chris Colabello spent seven years in the Independent League before spending all of 2012 at Minnesota's Double-A affiliate, New Britain. Does he have a chance to go north with the Twins?
Chris Colabello, 1B
There's a feel-good story waiting to be told for Colabello. We've already been told he's the happiest guy in baseball, and who can blame him? And everybody loves an underdog story. After hitting .348/.410/.600 for the Worcester Tornadoes in 2011, the Twins signed up him and he jumped into Double-A ball. He didn't hit like he had for the Independent League, but he more than held his own last season by batting .284/.358/.478.
You expect that from a 28-year old, playing against guys who are on average half a decade younger than he was. This year he gets a chance to make the big league club, but how good are those chances? His biggest obstacle, like Clement, is that there are a bunch of guys who will be able to take those plate appearances and those innings at first base: Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Chris Parmelee, even Trevor Plouffe or Ryan Doumit.
Unlike Clement, however, Colabello has no Major League experience. The downside is clear, but the upside is that he's something of an unknown quantity. Clement has a terrible Major League track record under his belt. Colabello, while we can profile him and look to the Oracles (who seem to think he'd hit something like .245/.305/.405), doesn't have that strike against him.
No MLB track record is better than a bad MLB track record? Not necessarily, but at least we can't look at him and say "he's been terrible in the past".
Not only will a lot of things have to go his way in order for Colabello to make the team out of spring training, but he's going to have to perform. Say what you will about spring training numbers not really holding much water, but when it comes to fringe players looking to wedge themselves into a spot where there isn't really room - yes, I think they'll matter.
Chances of making the team: Unlikely.