Andrew Calica - Outfielder
11th round, University of California-Santa Barbara
2016 stats: 50 G, .382 AVG, 34 R, 10 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 17 BB, 27 K, 15 SB, 1.031 OPS
Quick summary: Calica was a redraft for the Indians who they originally took in the 17th round back in 2012. He plays center field and can hit. He was the batting champion in the Cape last year - a wooden bat league. While his average was down this year in college, he walked over two times for every strikeout and posted the best ISO of his career along with more home runs than he had shown in his previous three years going from zero in his first three seasons to four this year. He is a guy with a little speed and the ability to get on base and was one of the best seniors in the draft class.
Grant’s take: “We love him. We drafted him out of high school so we have been talking about Andrew for five years, so it is nice to have the chance to get him out there and get him going. We always felt like he was a good hitter. He got into the organization and just got back to just letting things go. In college there was a certain approach and way of doing things, but once he got into professional baseball though he just went back to what he knows and it showed in the numbers. He went back to his approach and let things go. We liked the bat. It is what really carries him. There are some secondary tools there. He is an average runner and plus at times, he can play center field and all three outfield positions so he has some versatility on that side of it, and he plays the game hard. But the thing that always sold us on him is the bat. He is an offensive-oriented guy. If you watch a lot of college baseball over the year you will see there is a certain way of playing the game at that level, and that is fine. We have watched him for a long time. He did have a very good sophomore year when he hit .327 with an .864 OPS, so he has had years where he put it together. He had a down year this year, and I think it was more about what he was trying to do approach-wise so once we got him into our system we said to go back to what he was doing before and he did as it freed him up. It was more a comfort level for us [drafting him again]. We watched him for five years and last year up in the Cape he put together one of the best years in the Cape as he hit .404 up there with a .900 OPS. So there were a lot of factors we liked; it wasn’t just that we drafted him before.”
Zach Plesac - Right-handed Pitcher
12th round, Ball State University (OH)
2016 stats: Did not pitch
Quick summary: Plesac is the nephew of former MLB pitcher Dan Plesac. He was a two-way player for Ball State often playing outfield when he was not pitching. Plesac has some upside but has struggled with injuries and inconsistency the last two years. He is a big kid with the beginnings of two secondary pitches. The changeup is the better offering and he shows a fastball that sits mid-90’s. He showed improvement with his walk rate and strikeout rate this year before injury. He is a good athlete and has an outside chance at being a back-end starter, but profiles best in the pen. He had Tommy John surgery shortly after signing and did not pitch in his draft year.
Grant’s take: “He is a guy that has some power to his stuff. He was up to 90-93 MPH and has a solid average slider. He has a swing and miss pitch with that slider, has a feel for a changeup, has a good delivery, good arm action and good size. He has a lot of the intangibles we look for that we feel we can develop as a starter. Our track record in developing guys coming back from Tommy John is really good, so we felt like taking a risk there and rehabbing him and bringing him back. We feel there is a starter there.”