Willie Collazo

From BR Bullpen


William Collazo

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Willie Collazo pitched six games for the New York Mets in 2007.


Collazo went 13-1 with a 2.93 ERA as a college senior, whiffing 148 in 141 innings. He tied Dewon Brazelton for the Sun Belt lead in wins, trailed Brazelton in strikeouts and joined Brazelton on the All-Conference team as the top two starters. Willie tied for 12th in NCAA Division I in wins, tied for fourth in innings and 8th in strikeouts. Baseball America named him a third-team All-American pitcher. The Atlanta Braves took him in the 10th round of the 2001 amateur draft.

2001-2003: Braves minor leaguer[edit]

Willie made his pro debut in fine form with the Jamestown Jammers (3-1, a save, 0.60 ERA, 9 hits allowed, 13 strikeouts in 15 innings) and the Macon Braves (2-2, a save, 2.70 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 4 walks, 13 hits allowed in 23 1/3 innings). He was 4-4 with a 3.08 ERA for the Gigantes de Carolina in 2002-2003 winter ball. With the Greenville Braves, Collazo went 4-2 with four saves and a 3.47 ERA in 51 games. He struck out over a batter per inning and had a K/BB ratio of almost 3 to 1. Returning to Greenville, Willie went 6-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 39 games in 2004. He also was 0-1 with a 3.07 ERA for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. In the 2004-2005 Puerto Rican League, the southpaw had a 3-4, 4.65 record with one save.

2004-2005: Trouble[edit]

The Anaheim Angels grabbed Collazo in the minor league part of the 2004 Rule V Draft. Assigning him to the Arkansas Travelers and making him a starter for the first time since college, he went 6-10 with a 4.56 ERA. He led the Texas League with two shutouts and had an ERA better than team average, maintaining a solid K/BB ratio. In April 2005, though, Willie tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 15 games. He struggled in his return: 1-5, 6.78 for Arkansas with 16 home runs allowed in 71 2/3 innings and 0-1, 7.71 for the Salt Lake Stingers, surrendering 7 gopher balls in 23 1/3 innings. His career was going sour quickly.

2006-2007: Redemption[edit]

Collazo had a fine winter with Carolina in 2005-2006, going 5-2 with a 2.35 ERA, second to Josue Matos in ERA. He walked only 8 in 57 innings and won Pitcher of the Year honors. In the 2006 Caribbean Series, he was 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA and made the All-Star team as the top left-hander. He was also named a Baseball America Winter All-Star. Willie was on the Puerto Rican roster for the 2006 WBC, a staff loaded with players with major league experience. Collazo had a 13.50 ERA in three games, walking three and allowing three hits in two innings as one of the staff's worst hurlers. A bright spot was a scoreless inning against Cuba, while on the other end, he was their least effective pitcher against The Netherlands, allowing 2 of the 3 runs that game.

The New York Mets signed Collazo and he had a 7-6, 3.11 record for the Binghamton Mets with only 16 walks and 79 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings, finishing fourth in the Eastern League in ERA. Promoted to the Norfolk Tides, he had a 3-3, 4.79 line in 7 outings. Collazo pitched for Puerto Rico in the qualifier for the 2008 Olympics and was 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA. In the 2006-2007 Puerto Rican League, Collazo was 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA. In the 2007 Caribbean Series, Willie started and lost Game 5 to the Aragua Tigers to eliminate his Gigantes de Carolina. He allowed two runs, one earned, in 6 2/3 innings, but got little support (just one run).

Collazo moved back to relief and was 6-5 with four saves and a 2.46 ERA in 53 games for the 2007 Norfolk Tides. He walked just 19 batters in 98 2/3 innings. That earned him a September call up to New York. In his debut, he relieved a struggling John Maine in the fifth and allowed a single to his first opponent, Joey Votto (Votto's first MLB hit). He then retired another fellow rookie, Tom Shearn, on a double play grounder. Collazo put two men on to start the 6th but then got the next two batters out, one of them also on a double play ground ball. In 6 games and 5 2/3 innings, Willie had a 6.35 ERA with 5 walks to no strikeouts. It proved his only big league dalliance.

2008-2009: Back on the farm[edit]

Willie was back in AAA for all of 2008 and 2009. The first year, he was 4-9 with two saves and a 4.05 ERA for the New Orleans Zephyrs. The following year, he finished 9-5 with a 3.70 ERA in New Orleans. In 2008, he was 6th in the Pacific Coast League in ERA, between Randy Wells and Matt Palmer, and he was 9th in 2009. Despite that fine work, he was not called back to the majors either year.

2010: Taiwan[edit]

Early in 2010, Collazo was signed by Taiwan's President Lions. He debuted on April 29 with 3 runs in six innings in a no-decision against the La New Bears. He went 2-6 with a 3.01 ERA in 10 games for the Lions. He finished his career with a couple of seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays system.

Coaching Career[edit]

Collazo was pitching coach of the GCL Blue Jays from 2014-2015, the Vancouver Canadians in 2016, and the Lansing Lugnuts in 2017. In 2019, he was named pitching coach at Florida International.

Sources include 2002-2007 Baseball Almanacs, Carolina Giants website, Minor League Baseball.com, Mack's Mets Notes, World Baseball Classic website, Defunct IBAF site, CPBL Player Page

Related Sites[edit]