Collazo, Crafty & Confident

Collazo is the most confident he's ever been

Although Puerto Rico was denied first place at the World Baseball Classic, its young players' were not denied of the experience playing in front of 20,000 fans. It is this experience that might be the reason for pitcher Willie Collazo's great start at Binghamton.

"It was a great experience," said the left hander. "Being around all those guys, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, it was amazing."

Willie Collazo has been nothing short of amazing so far this season. In 57.1 innings pitched, he has yielded a 2.35 ERA, 39 strikeouts, 7 BB, and has allowed only two home runs.

"The numbers pretty much speak for themselves," said pitching coach Mark Brewer. "This guy is a professional. He understands how to pitch and understands the tendencies of hitters. I really feel great about his pitching this season."

With much attention given to Alay Soler and Mike Pelfrey, Collazo has quietly put together a successful season. His record (3-3) could be misleading though.

"He can easily be 4-1; I don't think his record really shows how good he has pitched," said manager Juan Samuel. "He's been brilliant, he's giving us some innings, he's giving us a chance to win some games, he's been outstanding for us so far."

Labeled a "finesse pitcher," Collazo sports a fastball that has a consistent velocity of 88mph, a changeup that is between 82 and 84 mph and a wicked cutter that resembles the same speed.

"He has a fastball, curveball, cutter, and a changeup," said Brewer. "He also elevates and pitches in, which keeps the hitter off balance."

Collazo's success almost awarded him a no-hitter on April 30th. He carried the accomplishment into the eighth inning against Erie. The week before, Collazo allowed only four hits and two walks in Binghamton's 2-1 victory against Connecticut.

"I feel like my season is going great," said Collazo. "This is exactly what I was expecting."

Whether the organization expected this success is unclear. However, as the season continues and Collazo dominates, the Puerto Rican might see a trip to Norfolk in the near future.

"I'm doing whatever it takes right now, I just have to be patient and it's going to be there for me," said Collazo. "This is the most confident that I've ever been in my career."

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