Today, 10 months shy of 30, he has just been invited to the Minnesota Twins' major league spring training camp in Fort Myers, FL.
Colabello notified this corner of the happy news he received Monday. It arrived at this desk in an email, presumably from Mexico where he is starring in the Mexican Winter League. We will detail the ramifications more for subscribers to the Independent Baseball Insideron Thursday.
The invitation follows an outstanding debut season in the Twins' farm system when he drove in 98 runs while hitting 19 homers and batting at a .284 clip for Class AA New Britain, CT. The offensive barrage has continued in Mexico with a league-leading .344 batting average plus top four numbers in hits (56), doubles (13), homers (15) and RBI (41) in 54 games.
INDY PLAYERS FARE BETTER ON OFFENSE IN AUSSIE ALL-STAR TILT
Former Independent pitchers Brian Grening (American Association teams in Kansas City, KS and Gary, IN) and Kevin Reese (Somerset and Camden, NJ, Atlantic League, and Washington, PA and Traverse City, MI, Frontier League) were touched up for three and two runs, respectively, in one-inning stints as Team Australia defeated the World All-Stars 6-4 in the Australian League All-Star Game. Grening took the loss since he worked the second inning of what had been a scoreless game.
Three Indy players all contributed offensively for the World team, collecting four of that club's five hits. Fargo, ND (American Association) stars Ryan Stovall (now an Arizona minor leaguer) and Zach Penprase went 2-for-3 and 1-for-3, respectively, and onetime Golden League (San Diego) catcher Cody Clark doubled in his only official at bat. All three players also walked once. Lancaster, PA Manager Butch Hobson's son, K.C., a Toronto minor leaguer, went 0-for-2 but drove in a run. Chris Oxspring, who started his professional career in the Frontier League (Cook County) and later pitched for the San Diego Padres, hurled a scoreless fourth inning for the Australian team.
ATLANTIC LEAGUERS IN DEMAND
While shortstop Stephen Drew's new contract with Boston will command the spotlight because of his lofty major league status, two other former Atlantic Leaguers also have new agreements. Catcher Mitch Canham, with Long Island, NY for much of last season, has signed a Double-A pact with Kansas City and another onetime Ducks player, Jon Meloan, a right-handed pitcher, has moved from the New York Yankees organization to a Triple-A agreement with World Champion San Francisco. Drew spent his Atlantic League time with Camden, NJ.
Southpaw Greg Smith, a former major leaguer who found his way back to affiliated baseball via a stint with Grand Prairie, TX in the American Association, has signed with Toronto (Triple-A agreement).
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