Colorado Rockies: Nate Coronado hopes to follow Stephen Cardullo
By Kevin Henry
While playing for the Grand Junction Rockies, Nate Coronado is using the inspirational story of Stephen Cardullo reaching Major League Baseball with the Colorado Rockies last season as motivation every day.
Much like Cardullo, the 25-year-old Coronado was signed by the Rockies out of independent baseball. Two years in independent ball paved the way for Coronado, born in Philadelphia but raised in the Dominican Republic, to catch the eye of Rockies scout Will George.
"“It took me by surprise. They invited me to a workout after my season. They saw I can play a little bit and here I am, thank God,” Coronado smiled."
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Signed on January 23 to a contract after playing last season with the Sullivan Explorers, Coronado has flashed some power early this season for the Rockies, blasting a pair of homers while batting .462 through his first 13 at-bats.
Coronado says there’s no comparison between independent ball and his current assignment with Grand Junction.
"“The difference is from earth to sky. Many things change, but the game hasn’t changed a bit. The competition has gotten better,” said Coronado, who has played both shortstop and third base in the early part of the season for Grand Junction. “It’s been a good experience so far. It’s still the same game. Nothing has changed except everything is organized. It’s way better to be here. I am really glad to be here.”"
Coronado is hoping to be the next Cardullo and show that a player from the independent league can make it all the way to the big leagues.
"“It’s like a door opened with guys like Stephen Cardullo. He opened it for me,” Coronado told Rox Pile. “He’s the best example I have right now. He’s a good guy. A good friend of mine and he’s been an inspiration for me."
"“I live in the moment. I’m a guy who plays day by day, strike by strike. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m going to do the best I can to reach my goals.”"
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And what are those goals?
"“I have a couple of goals but I can’t tell you,” Coronado laughed. “I’m just going to go out there and give 100 percent every game.”"