My time (in Utah) was great. I was able to create some really great relationships and every time we come back, I make it a point to reach out to some of the guys I played with. It’s just fun. —Christian Colon
Christian Colon enjoys driving around Salt Lake City each time he returns, bringing back fond memories of living in Utah and playing baseball at Taylorsville High, even if his time in the Beehive State was limited.
“Memories left and right,” Colon said, reminiscing about his time in Utah before taking on the Salt Lake Bees on Saturday. “I just drive around and I just remember all — this is where I learned how to drive, too. I was a teenager, so I went out with friends and made a lot of memories here. Just a lot of memories coming back to me.”
Colon, currently with the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, returned to Salt Lake City on Saturday, going 1-for-3 with a stolen base in Omaha’s 5-3 loss to the Bees.
The Royals farmhand is originally from Puerto Rico but moved to Utah prior to his sophomore season of high school in 2005. While in Utah, he shined in just one season at Taylorsville before moving with his family to California. Colon hit .427 with the Warriors in his lone season, becoming a first-team all-state selection in 2005.
After graduating from high school in California, he went on to play collegiately at Cal State-Fullerton before going to the Royals with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft. In 2014, Colon made his big league debut and continued on to play as they won the American League championship and reached the World Series. He played a vital role on the playoff team, hitting a game-tying RBI single in the 12th inning of the Royals’ wild card round win over Oakland. He went on to score the game-winning run that capped one of the craziest comebacks in playoff history.
Meanwhile, he remembers plenty about living in Utah, especially the mountains. Colon recalls playing tournaments on BYU’s campus and honing his baseball skills against teams within the state. Even in just one season with the Warriors, Colon formed unbroken bonds with his teammates.
Colon was with the Storm Chasers in 2013 when Omaha defeated the Salt Lake Bees for the PCL title. He said having some of his old high school teammates there in the stands to support him at the series-clinching game made it a little more special.
“My time (in Utah) was great,” Colon said. “I was able to create some really great relationships and every time we come back, I make it a point to reach out to some of the guys I played with. It’s just fun.”
After starting the 2015 season with the Royals, Colon was sent down to Omaha to improve on his hitting. He was batting .244 in limited action with the Royals before the demotion in early July. He’s currently batting .283 with 12 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 38 games with the Storm Chasers, while eying a return to Kansas City soon, which is likely to occur by the annual September call-ups in two weeks.
A big portion of the demotion was to get Colon into a lineup every day instead of sparingly, which was a difficult adjustment for the infielder.
“You want to get in a rhythm and go out there every day and feel comfortable hitting,” Colon said. “You don’t want to feel like the game is too fast for you. It’s always better to play every day and I’ve always played every day until recently this year in the big leagues. But that’s hopefully going to come with patience, keep working hard and see what happens.”
As for his time in Utah, Colon keeps other memories. He still holds on to newspaper article clippings from his time at Taylorsville. He also considers himself a proud alumnus of a school that produced other recent major leaguers like John Buck and Brandon Lyon.
“It was really cool to be able to see that and go through that,” Colon said. “(Taylorsville) has a lot of history, especially with its baseball program. I’d love to go back and see where they’re about now.”
Dixie State alum Brandon Kintzler was taken off the disabled list by the Milwaukee Brewers and optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday. The relief pitcher appeared in two games with the Sky Sox afterwards.
Kintzler appeared in seven games with the Brewers this season and posted a 6.43 ERA before landing on the disabled list with left knee tendonitis on May 29.
C.J. Cron (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Six hits, three RBIs and two runs scored in 17 at-bats over the week. Cron hit a solo home run for the Angels in their 9-4 loss to Kansas City on Saturday. He also hit a pinch-hit two-run double in the ninth inning on Thursday that tied a game with Kansas City 5-5. Los Angeles went on to score twice more in the inning before winning 7-6.
Cron is batting .271 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 69 games.
Jeremy Guthrie (BYU), Kansas City Royals: Allowed two hits, three walks and one run in six innings, picking up a no-decision in Kansas City’s 7-6 win over Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Guthrie snapped a streak of five-straight starts with three or more earned runs allowed. The righty is 8-7 with a 5.63 ERA
Christian Colon (Taylorsville H.S.), Omaha (Kansas City Royals): Six hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in 23 at-bats during the week. Colon collected a pair of hits, including a two-run ground rule double in Omaha’s 11-4 win over Salt Lake on Sunday. Colon is batting .283 with 12 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 38 games with the Storm Chasers.
Brandon Kintzler (Dixie State), Colorado Springs (Milwaukee Brewers): 0-0, 3.00 ERA in two appearances over the week. Kintzler ended his rehab stint and was optioned down to Colorado Springs on Wednesday. Kintzler allowed a hit and a walk in one shutout inning against Round Rock on Thursday. He then allowed one run on three hits and a walk in two innings against Reno on Saturday.
Brady Lail (Bingham H.S.), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (New York Yankees): Allowed two runs on four hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings, picking up a no-decision in the RailRiders’ 5-3 win over Rochester on Friday. Lail is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Matt Spring (Dixie State), Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox): One hit, one RBI and one run scored in 12 at-bats over the week. Spring went 1-for-3 with an RBI in Pawtucket’s 5-2 win over Lehigh Valley on Saturday. Spring is batting .177 in 52 games with the PawSox.
Jaycob Brugman (BYU), Midland (Oakland Athletics): Four hits, five RBIs and one run scored in 22 at-bats over the week. Brugman picked up a pair of RBIs in Midland’s 3-0 win over Springfield on Thursday, when the RockHounds plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Brugman hit a two-run double that broke the scoreless tie. On Sunday, Brugman picked up another pair of RBIs in Midland’s 9-0 win over Tulsa. He’s batting .250 with 50 RBIs and 47 runs scored in 114 games this season.
Taylor Cole (BYU), New Hampshire (Toronto Blue Jays): Allowed five hits, three walks and three runs in seven innings, picking up a no-decision in New Hampshire’s 7-3 loss to Akron on Wednesday. Cole is 5-9 with a 4.41 ERA in 23 starts this season.
Jacob Hannemann (BYU), Tennessee (Chicago Cubs): Eight hits, two RBIs and four runs scored in 28 at-bats over the week. Hannemann’s eight-game hitting streak was snapped on Monday, but the BYU alum has collected at least one hit in 13 of his last 15 games. He homered in Tennessee’s 4-1 win over Chattanooga on Saturday. Hannemann is batting .246 with four home runs, 33 RBIs and 50 runs scored in 91 games with the Smokies.
Adam Law (BYU), Tulsa (Los Angeles Dodgers): Four hits, one RBI and one run scored in 21 at-bats over the week. Law is batting .240 with 15 RBIs and 32 runs scored in 71 games with the Drillers.
Marcus Littlewood (Pine View H.S.), Jackson (Seattle Mariners): Three hits, one RBI and three runs scored in 11 at-bats over the week. Littlewood hit his sixth home run for Jackson on Wednesday, helping the Generals to a 3-1 win over Jacksonville. He also has at least one hit and one run scored in his last five games.
The St. George native is batting .245 with 21 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 44 games with the Generals this season.
Adam Miller (BYU), Mobile (Arizona Diamondbacks): 0-0, 4.50 ERA in three appearances over the week. Miller struck out three and walked one over two scoreless innings against Biloxi on Tuesday. He allowed three hits and two runs in an inning of work against Chattanooga on Friday before striking out two in a perfect frame against Chattanooga on Sunday. The righty is 2-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 40 appearances this season. He also has 44 strikeouts in 45 innings.
Parker Morin (Utah), Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City Royals): Two hits and one RBI in 12 at-bats over the week. Morin drove in a run during Northwest Arkansas’s 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Tuesday. The former Ute is batting .338 with 24 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 43 games this season.
Braeden Schlehuber (Viewmont H.S.), Mississippi (Atlanta Braves): Four hits, two RBIs and one run scored in 13 at-bats over the week. The Viewmont product drove in two runs on the power of three hits in Mississippi’s 10-3 win over Biloxi on Tuesday. Schlehuber is batting .183 with four RBIs in 30 games with the Braves this season.
Tyler Wagner (Utah), Biloxi (Milwaukee Brewers): 0-0, 2.31 ERA in two starts over the week. Wagner allowed four hits, four walks and three runs in 4 2/3 innings as Biloxi defeated Mississippi 5-4 on Monday. Wagner collected another no-decision on Saturday, allowing just six hits and two walks in seven shutout innings as Biloxi fell to Pensacola 2-1 on Saturday. Wagner is 9-5 with a 2.33 ERA in 21 starts this season.
Keenyn Walker (Judge Memorial H.S.), Birmingham (Chicago White Sox): Two hits and one RBI in 18 at-bats over the week. He’s batting .200 with 20 RBIs in 57 games with Birmingham this season.
Eddy Alvarez (Salt Lake C.C.), Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox): Four hits and five runs scored in 18 at-bats over the week. Alvarez is batting .355 with 11 RBIs and 19 runs scored in 22 games with the Dash this season.
Tanner Banks (Utah), Great Falls (Chicago White Sox): Allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out six in six innings, but lost as Orem defeated Great Fall 2-1 on Saturday. Banks is 3-3 with a 1.93 ERA in 10 starts with the Voyagers.
Bubba Blau (Dixie State), Helena (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed one hit while striking out four in three shutout innings in Helena’s 6-4 loss to Ogden on Wednesday. Blau 3-4 with a 6.66 ERA in 13 games this season.
Porter Clayton (Dixie State), Princeton (Tampa Bay Rays): 0-0, 4.50 ERA in two appearances over the week. Clayton scattered two hits in three shutout innings in Princeton’s 5-3 loss to Danville on Tuesday. He allowed two runs on three hits in one inning on Saturday, picking up a blown save, but the Rays went on to defeat Bluefield 4-3 on Saturday.
The lefty is 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in 12 games this season.
Nick Green (Utah), Lexington (Kansas City Royals): Allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in 2 1/3 innings, picking up a blown save and a loss in his first game with Lexington on Friday. Green was promoted to Lexington from Idaho Falls earlier in the week.
Bret Helton (Utah), West Virginia (Pittsburgh Pirates): Allowed three hits, two walks and three runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings, as West Virginia lost to Aberdeen 3-1 on Wednesday. Helton fell to 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 10 starts this season.
Kolton Mahoney (BYU), Staten Island (New York Yankees): Allowed three runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, picking up a loss as Staten Island fell to Williamsport 4-1 on Wednesday. Mahoney dropped to 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in eight games and six starts this season.
Trey Nielsen (Utah), Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals): 0-0, 0.00 ERA in two combined relief appearances over the week. Nielsen allowed one unearned run on two hits and two walks in four innings of relief against Charlotte while striking out four. Palm Beach went on to win 8-7 in 12 innings. He then allowed three unearned runs in two innings of work against Fort Myers on Saturday. The righty is 9-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 21 games and 17 starts this season.
Makay Nelson (Maple Mountain H.S.), Greeneville (Houston Astros): Allowed four hits, three walks and four runs (two earned) in three innings during Greeneville’s 8-1 loss to Pulaski on Saturday. The righty is 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in nine games this season.
Dominique Taylor (Northridge H.S.), Wilmington (Kansas City Royals): Four hits and one run scored in 14 at-bats over the week. Taylor is batting .208 with 20 RBIs and 39 runs scored in 95 games this season.
Mitch Watrous (Utah), Fort Wayne (San Diego Padres): Remains on the disabled list after undergoing shoulder surgery. His timetable to return is unclear.