Bartolo Colon Is Baseball's Renaissance Man

The New York Mets' starter is one of baseball's treasures. Plus, he's actually really good.

As someone who hates watching pitchers hit, even I must confess my love for Bartolo Colon.

Colon is an accomplished pitcher. While he does not have the pure stuff he once did and cannot come close to matching the velocity and breaking pitches of his younger teammates, Colon has managed to survive -- and even thrive -- as a soon-to-be 43-year-old Major League pitcher.

On Monday night, Colon was masterful against an admittedly horrendous Atlanta Braves team, pitching eight innings while giving up no runs on seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

He threw just 99 pitches in the Mets' 4-1 win over Atlanta. And the victory was the 220th of his career, which puts him in second place all-time in wins among pitchers born in the Dominican Republic.

Rk Name From To ASG W L ERA
1 Juan Marichal (HOF) 1960 1975 10 243 142 2.89
2 Bartolo Colon 1997 2016 3 220 155 3.95
3 Pedro Martinez (HOF) 1992 2009 8 219 100 2.93
4 Ramon Martinez 1988 2001 1 135 88 3.67
5 Pedro Astacio 1992 2006 0 129 124 4.67
6 Joaquin Andujar 1976 1988 4 127 118 3.58
7 Ervin Santana 2005 2016 1 126 106 4.15
8 Jose Rijo 1984 2002 1 116 91 3.24
9 Miguel Batista 1992 2012 0 102 115 4.48
10 Ubaldo Jimenez 2006 2016 1 101 97 4.03

Colon passed Pedro Martinez with his victory last night and, if he's able to hang on for a few more years, has a legitimate chance of breaking Juan Marichal's mark of 243.

Colon does all this featuring a fastball that averages 88.2 miles per hour. However, it is the movement on his two-seamer that continues to keep hitters at bay. He also gives nothing away.

And while Colon did make a little history on the mound, that is not what anyone was talking about after Monday night's game. It was his presence at the plate which, unless you're new to the game, has become legendary.

Again, I don't like watching pitchers hit, and I'd love nothing more than to see the designated hitter come to the National League. After all, MLB pitchers are averaging a .146/.174/.182 slash line this year, with a wRC+ of -6.

They are walking rally killers.

But there are exceptions to the rule. Bartolo Colon is one of them, and this is what we're used to seeing from him at the plate.

He's a national treasure.

But then, something remarkable happened last night.

Unfortunately for Colon, the ball hooked foul. But the fact he was able to hit a ball that hard, with an exit velocity of 101.9 miles per hour, is extraordinary. However, it wasn't the hardest-hit ball by a pitcher on Monday night.

That honor went to St. Louis' Adam Wainwright against the Phillies.

Wainwright is widely regarded as one of the best pure athletes in the sport, and there were some who considered drafting him as an outfielder. His abilities at the plate were evidenced by that tater, which left his bat at 105.4 miles per hour.

But Monday night was Colon's night. He got a historic victory and smacked the bejesus out of a ball to boot.

When Bartolo Colon comes to the plate, don't leave your seats. You'll only be cheating yourself.