Where have you gone, Colter Bean?

The sensitive side of Randy Levine
A behind-the-scenes chess game

Colter BeanRemember Colter Bean?

The Yankees signed the righty reliever as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama back in 2000, and he proceeded to annilate the minor leagues over the next 8+ seasons. He struck out 719 batters and allowed just 471 hits in 590 IP thanks to his quirky sidearm delivery, although he struggled in three cups of coffee with the Yanks. Many statheads clamored for him to be called up at a time when the Yanks’ bullpen was struggling, and there was even a website dedicated to the cause. Alas, Colter’s career came to end after 2008, and he’s since moved on to bigger and better things.

Nowadays, Bean is a part owner and instructor at the Bases Loaded Training Facility in Birmingham, Alabama.  The facility is over 20,000 square feet and has four full fields with an indoor training area, and has about 10,000 participants that take lessons, play in tournaments, the whole nine. Bases Loaded was founded by Jeff Segar, another ex-Yankee farmhand drafted in 2000, and it continues to expand.

Bean may or may not have received a fair shot at the big leagues, but most sidearming righties tend to dominate the minors before getting exposed in the big leagues. Very few manage to have a significant Major League career, but it looks like Colter found something to keep himself occupied after his playing days were over.

(h/t RABer Eric Sanlnocencio)

Photo Credit: FCB

The sensitive side of Randy Levine
A behind-the-scenes chess game
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Dude, Colter is like the most awesome name ever.

  • Rich

    Colter Bean, free at last.

  • E-ROC

    Mitch Jones is another ex-Yankee that is a part of Bases Loaded Training Facility. Cool stuff and athletes continue to be married to the game different ways.

  • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    Loved the piece; you should do more of these “where are they now?” pieces.

    • John

      I agree

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        Where have you gone, Johnny Poterson?

        • Bryan

          Seriously, what ever happened to him?

  • CB

    The more recent version of the Colter Bean phenomenon was Chris Britton. I don’t know how many yankee bloggers and fans just decried the injustice Chris Britton faced within the yankee’s organization.

    Here Britton is just performing, putting up great numbers and the yankees are simply too blind to give him a shot. Joe torre this…, brian cashman that…, what is wrong with Girardi… There must have been hundreds of such comments made across the yankees blogosphere.

    It’s as if some people really believe that a business worth $1.5 billion, a business with hundreds of millions of dollars in operating expenses and revenues doesn’t have an internet connection to look up Britton’s stats.

    Then Britton finally got out of the organization and went to San Diego. Finally he was free.

    San Diego was desperate for bull pen help this spring desperate. Not only did Britton not come close to making an awful Padres team – Ivan Nova stayed in their camp longer.

    And not only did Britton not make their big league club he didn’t even make their AAA bullpen.

    Britton is pitching for San Diego’s AA team.

    So the third organization Britton has been with sees him as a AA pitcher at the age of 26. Perhaps he’ll go on to surprise and have a decent career but when the Padres send you to AA that says something.

    Stats are useful but their generalizability is always an issue and that’s where talent evaluation has to come in.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      The difference between Britton and Bean is that Britton at least showed he was capable to pitch in the bigs. He was very good as a rookie with the O’s and in the little time he was with us. Bean was hammered everytime he was in the majors.

      • CB

        Sure. Yet despite that evidence for Britton’s talent the Padres still sent him down to AA. Not AAA. AA.

        If you’ve had some success in the majors, had the stats that Brittons has had in the minors and are now on your third organization and in AA at the age of 26 that says a great deal for who those 3 organizations are viewing your talent.

        And remember – San Diego has been amongst the best at finding relief talent off the scrap heap. Britton didn’t come close to making their team once they got a look at him.

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

          I’m not saying that Britton is a great player, just that he is way better than Colter Bean. And I know that Britton got send to AA. Maybe he has lost his stuff or his weight has caught up to him. Who knows. He still has a career 118 ERA+ so the talent is certainly there.

  • Drew

    I love watching the Mets

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      I’m watching the Phils and the Marlins right now and the announcers are decrying the lack of complete games in today’s game. Am I the only one who doesn’t care about this? Does it really matter? Does it hurt the game at all?

      • A.D.

        I know I don’t care, it’s nice when you get a complete game, but not necessary by any means.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        More complete games = less middle relievers = more bench players

        So, yes, I’d like to see more complete games and less stupid pitching changes.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          That’s fair enough. But even so, announcers and writers act like the lack of CGs in baseball ruins the game’s integrity.

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            Ruining the game’s integrity? That’s pretty harsh. But I’d like to see less relievers on 25man rosters. 8-man bullpens are overkill and I think they weaken the team if you don’t have any player on the bench to pinch-hit or pinch-run.

    • A.D.

      Oh Ollie Perez, really earning his 10M

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

        I got frustrated when Skip Caray started talking about taking pitching development advice from Derek Lowe. I put on a DVD instead. Yay “Scrubs.”

        • Rich

          Was Lowe advising Skip Caray how to stay alive?

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