Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #10 Orlando Calixte

10. Orlando Calixte Short Stop

Age: 21
Position: SS
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 160
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent in 2010
From: Santo Domingo, Domican Republic

Paden Bennett (7):  Orlando Calixte is an exciting 21 year old shortstop because he has great range on defense but also because he has some pop in his bat.  Calixte hit 14 homers in 532 at bats, now those aren't eye opening numbers but they still make you think that Calixte has the ability to hit for some power.  The weakness of Calixte right now is he strikes out too much and doesn't walk enough.  That's not a good combination, but hes young.  Calixte has plenty of time to improve his contact rate and walk rate.

Joe Cox (16)Orlando Calixte is an exciting 21 year old shortstop acquired in 2010 from the Dominican Republic.  Defensively, Calixte is said to poccess the instincts, arm and range to stick at shortstop.  With the bat, Calixte shows some raw skills but needs to improve his pitch selection. 

Calixte split 2012 between A and high A and hit a combined 14 home runs over 532 at bats.  He also had a .759 OPS; the downside of his season being that he walked only 36 times while compiling 109 strike outs.  An advantage that Calixte has is that he has plenty of time to develop while Alcides Escobar handles shortstop at the major league level.  That is a nice luxury for the Royals to take advantage of, because if Calixte does improve his plate skills they have a plus defensive shortstop with some power that could potentially start in the majors by 2016 or so.

Damion Mandalas (11):  I'm a big fan of Calixte and at this point considering his upside he could be the most under the radar talent in the system. Calixte currently plays short stop and while he has shown strong range, he has also displayed the propensity to catch the error bug. In fact, last season alone he committed 46 errors in 556 opportunities.

Like Alfonso Soriano, who Calixte has been compared to on numerous occasions, a change in positions could eventually be in order. Calixte has the athleticism to shift to second or could eventually find a home in the outfield, much like Soriano and Upton.

One thing I do want to point out in regards to Calixte is his low line drive percentages in 2012. In 62 games for Kane County, Calixte's line drive percentage was several points lower than league average, while his BABIP came in nearly 50 points higher. This trend continued in Wilmington, where his line drive percentage of 10.8% was nearly 3% below the average mark, but his BABIP was once again nearly 50 points higher.

I'm not necessarily saying that Calixte's 2012 success was a fluke, but on the surface it appears his line was driven by good fortune. Calixte has the upside and tools to be a very dangerous hitter, so either way let's hope that the good fortune can parlay itself into a confidence builder for Calixte to build on moving forward. Calixte could open the year in either Wilmington or Northwest Arkansas. I wouldn't be shocked if he took off in 2013 and found himself on the edge of the game's top 100 prospects heading into 2014. 

Dan Ware (17):  The man with many names, Calixte has finally got the weight off his shoulders.  His first 2 seasons as a teenager hit him fairly rough, to say the least.  Although being an 18 year old living in a new country on your own can play a role, Orlando has easily put those days behind him.  Last season, he started off with Kane County in the Midwest League.  While mashing 10 HR and driving in 34 runs, his BA and OBP were well below the league averages, but kept his K% down which is a plus.  Moving on up to Wilmington half way through the season, he enjoyed great success at the plate by boosting his batting average up 40 points compared to his average with the Cougars, which definitely was a confidence booster. It would be nice to see Orlando get a few more PA in Wilmington to start off 2013.  No need to rush the kid right now.

Total Points: 73

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