SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Infielder Christian Colon considers himself fortunate that he escaped a serious eye injury in an on-field mishap last season.
Colon was hit just under the right eye by his own foul ball last August in his fifth game after being promoted to Triple-A Omaha.
"It was a fastball in, a sinker and I just committed to the pitch a little early. I swung and foul-tipped it into my right cheek. It wasn't my eye," Colon said. "I was very lucky. It hit me right underneath my eye. They just put a little titanium plate in there and that's it."
That ended Colon's season, but there was no permanent damage and he resumed playing this winter in Puerto Rico. He hit .301 in 39 games for Leones de Ponce.
It was a tough summer for Colon. While with Double-A Northwest Arkansas last June, he suffered a broken toe in a play at the plate and missed five weeks.
"I was trying to score a run and the catcher was in the middle of the plate. He saw I was coming, so he kind of moved out the way and tagged me and I just went flying and stepped wrong on my second toe," Colon said. "It was one of those years."
Colon, the Royals' No. 10 prospect, is in his first Major League training camp after being drafted as a shortstop in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. With shortstop Alcides Escobar signed for the long term, the Royals are looking at Colon as a second baseman.
"I like shortstop, but when I went to Puerto Rico, I played second base the whole time and it was fun. I felt like I did well, for the most part," he said.
Despite his injury-shortened season, Colon is drawing attention.
"He's really starting to push the Major League door open a little bit for himself," manager Ned Yost said. "When he was playing, he did quite well."