Shortstop Orlando Calixte took a slight drop in MLB.com’s top prospect rankings for the KC Royals, dropping two spots to number 12.
Calixte was back in Double-A, as his season began late due to visa problems (he missed all of spring training). In 96 games, he hit .243, although he hit .275 in the first half and was a Texas League All-Star.
Calixte showed power, hitting 15 doubles and 11 home runs. His homer total was tied for tops on the team with Lane Adams. However, he only drove in 37 runs.
Like many of the Royals prospects, strikeouts are a problem for Calixte. The free swinger struck out 92 times in 374 at-bats (second on the team in Ks), compared to just 27 walks. He had an on-base percentage of just .288.
Calixte has decent speed (he stole nine bases), but hasn’t quite figured out the art of stealing a bag (he was caught five times).
Many think Calixte can stay at shortstop because of his strong arm and decent speed. He did commit 25 errors in 2014 (up from 16 in 2013).
The Royals have Alcides Escobar penciled in at shortstop for the forseable future, so I am not sure if Calixte will stick at that position if he hits. Calixte could return to NW Arkansas to start 2015 (especially if he has visa problems again). But if top prospect Raul Mondesi continues to be aggressively pushed, I see Calixte as Triple-A Omaha’s starting shortstop. As a plus for him, he was recently added to the Royals 40-man roster.
Stay tuned for a look back at #11 tomorrow.