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‘He’s On Fire Right Now’: Colabello’s Perseverance Paying Off

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(credit: CBS) David McCoy
David McCoy joined the WCCO-TV sports team in March 2013 as a report...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Chris Colabello, the most dangerous hitter in the American League through the first week of the season, is a guy that wasn’t even drafted.

And he never even made the minor leagues until the eighth year of his pro career.

This season, Colabello moved his right foot closer to the plate. But there’s more to his hot-hitting start than a simple tweak in his batting stance.

“I think more in my mind than anything else,” he said. “Just competing with confidence every day, believing in yourself, knowing you belong. Certainly some physical adjustments too, but I think the biggest thing every day is going out on that field and knowing that you belong there.”

Colabello is showing that he belongs. His 11 RBIs lead the American League. Not bad for a guy that was a long shot just to make the team in spring training.

“He just killed the ball,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “There wasn’t much to it. He was our best hitter in spring, really. Day in and day out, the guy was killing the baseball.”

If there’s ever an example of perseverance, it’s Colabello. He played seven years in independent league baseball, not even affiliated with a major league club. But he never gave up on his dream.

“I love the game. I’ve always loved the game. I’ve loved the game as far back as I can remember,” Colabello said. “I believed I could play. Guys I played with told me I could play, guys that had been at the highest level, guys at Triple-A, and to me, that reassurance meant more than anybody giving me a contract or anything else.”

The Twins finally gave him a contract in 2012. He made his big league debut last year, and struggled big-time, hitting .194. So he moved the foot. And now when pitchers face him?

“Walk him? I don’t know,” said Twins pitcher Brian Duensing. “He’s on fire right now, I hope it stays that way.”

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