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Robert Calaz could be the next prospect stud for the Rockies

When it comes to finding and evaluating prospects, there are so many unknown variables that come into play that can skew perspective and what you initially got may not be what you end up with down the line. This can be both good and bad but emphasizes a need for MLB teams to do their due diligence in helping players develop to their full potential. That process becomes a little bit easier when you acquire a prospective talent that is already seasoned beyond his years in terms of talent and production. For the Colorado Rockies, this player is none other than Robert Calaz who could be one of the next great outfielder studs for the boys in purple.

In 2023, Calaz was ranked 24th on’s international amateur free agent prospect rankings when the Rockies signed the then 17-year-old for $1.7 million from Monte Plata, Dominican Republic. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League’s DSL Rockies squad, where he was 0.7 years younger than league average. Calaz hit .325/.423/.561 with seven homers (tied for fifth in the league) and 21 extra-base hits in 189 PA (155 wRC+) in his first professional action. While stats in the DSL usually have to be taken with a grain of salt because of the hitter-friendly nature of the league, one can’t help but get excited about that type of production from a hitter at that age and in his first bit of action.

Calaz ranks 11th in the Rockies’ top prospects list according to MLB Pipeline as a 45 Future Value player with 55 grades in his power and speed tools. While young international free agents are mostly about potential and development, Calaz has a leg up thanks to an innate ability to showcase what value he can bring right now. His numbers in the DSL in 2023 already put him on the map to keep an eye on as he progresses and his first stint in the United States playing in the Arizona Complex League only strengthens his case as a top prospect.

Playing with the ACL Rockies, Calaz is slashing .351/.451/.688 with four home runs in 21 games. His 1.139 OPS leads the entire ACL while he is currently fourth in the league with 19 RBI. As an 18-year-old, he already looks the part of a big-league talent thanks to his large build and the ability he’s shown to find the barrel consistently and put together a high-quality approach at the plate and an inherent ability to hit. His performance over 18 games in the month of May resulted in Calaz being named the Rockies Organizational Player of the Month.

Beyond the core numbers, one can look over a splits page for Calaz and see the many different ways that he does things well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s against starters or relievers, he finds a way to hit. No one on base? Well, no problem for Calaz where he has a 1.195 OPS, but if there are runners in scoring position, he’s hit a cool .360 with a 1.307 OPS. He can hit early in games or he can hit late in games, for example, he is slashing .571/.571/.714 in late/close games. What’s better is that it doesn’t matter whether it’s right or left-handed pitching Calaz has proven capable of handling both. In the ACL he has an OPS of 1.200 against right-handed pitching versus a .967 against lefties.

A command of the plate and the strike zone is something beyond his years, but Calaz has shown just how good he can be. His 22 strikeouts with 12 walks isn’t a horrible ratio as long as both continue to work in tandem in conjunction with his production. As long as he deploys a decent plate discipline and continues to put the ball in play and take advantage of a .451 BABIP, Calaz should continue to develop nicely as the competition gets better during his time in the minors.

Now, Calaz is still learning his body and how to use it efficiently. That comes with being young and still raw in his development process. He is an above-average runner and could stay in center field as he ages but a move to a corner seems more likely or prudent for when his time comes. MLB Pipeline writes that “the Rockies are mostly working with him on slowing the game down and helping him to learn about routines and preparations to maximize his very loud tools.”

The Rockies have no shortage of outfield talent in the pipeline that are much closer to the big league level. Players like Jordan Beck (who has already debuted in MLB), Zac Veen (who is injured but was doing well in Double-A), and Yanquiel Fernandez are the highlights of the Rockies outfield system, not to mention big league staples like Brenton Doyle and Nolan Jones. Calaz is likely several years away from making an impact with the big league crew as his expected time of arrival in 2028, but that could be much sooner should he continue to develop and show a mastery of each level he plays at.

There is a lot to like and be excited about with Calaz. He’s one of the best pure hitters the Rockies have had in years by all accounts and one can only wonder how much better he can get should he learn to slow things down and refine his approach to the game even more. There is no doubt he has All-Star potential in his future and he could end up being the next great prospect stud.



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