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2017 IBI Top 75 Prospects: #22 Andrew Calica

The 2017 countdown continues with a player taken in the 2016 Draft who had one of the most impressive pro debuts by an Indians prospect in some time and brings a lot of intrigue coming into his sophomore campaign...

22. Andrew Calica – Outfielder

Born: 03/05/1994 – Height: 6’1” – Weight: 190 – Bats: Left – Throws: Right

Facts & Info: Calica was selected by the Indians in the 11th round of the 2016 Draft out of the University of Cal-Santa Barbara and signed for $100,000. He was a redraft of the Indians as they originally selected him out of high school in the 17th round of the 2012 Draft. Last season he was a Big West honorable mention and in the summer of 2015 he was the batting champion in the Cape Cod League. He missed the cutoff for the league leaders in the NY-Penn League by a few plate appearances because of a late season promotion to Lake County, but had he qualified he would have ranked 1st in batting average (.388), 3rd in triples (6), 12th in stolen bases (14), 1st in on-base percentage (.491), 1st in slugging percentage (.568) and 1st in OPS (1.059).

Offense: Calica is known for his eye and ability to get on base, something he validated back in college as he developed to be a player who knows how to hit and get on base. He showed the ability over his last two seasons at UCSB, putting up .445 and .427 on-base percentages in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Despite his batting average dipping to .252 in 2016, he drew 45 walks as opposed to striking out 23 times, and was hit by a pitch 24 times which lead the NCAA. He has the skillset with the patience, discipline and bat-to-ball to be an impact performer at the top of a lineup, something he showed in his pro debut and brings a ton of excitement about what he can become in the near future. The thing that always sold the Indians on him was his bat as it is his carrying tool. Even though he had a down year with the batting average in college last year, a lot of it had to do with what he was trying to do approach-wise so once he got into the Indians system they got him back to what he was doing before and it freed him up offensively and just let things come naturally. He just has a knack for getting on-base at a high rate because of the overall consistent quality to his at bats and how he just grinds them out and makes pitchers work. He is short and quick to the ball and shows a good line drive swing that is mechanically sound and that he repeats well. The power is below average, but he showed some improved power during his college season last year which carried over into his pro debut where he displayed some good gap power and piled up a good amount of extra base hits.

Defense: Calica is a solid average defender in center field who shows some good defensive skills that should allow him to stick at the position as he moves up the minor league ladder. He has some great instincts and really does a nice job of reading balls off the bat and taking efficient routes to balls. The arm is also more than enough for center field as he shows solid average arm strength and good accuracy on his throws. With his speed, arm, instincts and athleticism it gives him the toolset to handle any spot in the outfield and provide some versatility for him.

Speed & Intangibles: Calica is an average runner though will show plus speed at times, particularly with the energy he displays and the way he moves around the bases thanks to his good intelligence and confidence as a runner. His mental approach to the game is off the charts as he really works hard on his routines and goes the extra mile to do what he needs to do in the cage or on the field before and after games in order to become a more consistent player. He has a strong work ethic, an excellent makeup, is well-liked by his coaches and is one of those hardnosed players who plays the game with a relentless energy and never stops hustling.

Focus: Calica is a pretty advanced player after spending four years in college – three of them on the field – and the bat is already very well developed. The Indians don’t think there is a lot he needs to do offensively as the approach is excellent, but they do want him to solidify it as there were some changes he tried to implement in college which impacted it and his performance suffered. They got him back to a more natural approach once he got into the system and he really took off offensively, so going forward he just needs to solidify that approach and stick with it. He is also a very intense competitor, which can get the best of him at times, so they want him to learn how to stay aggressive but also remain in control of his emotions so his performance is not impacted in a negative way when things are not going his way. Defensively, while he ranges to balls to his left and right very well, the Indians would like to see him get a little better coming straight in on balls and going back on balls them. The Indians have also challenged him to become a better base-stealer and impact the game more as a baserunner to steal more bases and take the extra base whenever he can.

Future: You hate to get caught up in the early returns – good or bad – from any player, but it is hard not to ignore the numbers Calica put up last season in his pro debut. He signed a little late so he missed the first few weeks of the season, but once he reported to Short-A Mahoning Valley he hit the ground running and never really had any lull in his performance all year. He was arguably the best player in the league for the seven weeks he was in the NY-Penn League as he did it all from just about every performance measure imaginable, played good defense and impacted on the bases. Even with a late season promotion to Low-A Lake County he didn’t skip a beat as he cranked out a season best 4-for-4 night in his Captains debut on August 26th. In all, he hit a combined .382 with a .477 on-base percentage at two different Single-A levels and had an excellent 12.4 K%. He is someone who could move very quickly in the organization and is a guy the Indians know a lot about as they have scouted and followed him a ton over the last five years. He looks like yet another good center field prospect for the Indians who is less about big offense and more about good defense, getting on base, putting up good at bats and swiping a few bases. He could be a solid every day Major League center fielder in the making, and if not, could still be a good fourth outfielder or platoon player in the making – perhaps even a left-handed version of Brandon Guyer because of his high on-base skills and how he is a magnet for balls where he gets hit by so many pitches. He has quickly established himself as a legit prospect who is going to get a chance to really move through the organization at a fast pace and should open the season at High-A Lynchburg and could more quickly from there and spend a meaningful amount of time at Double-A Akron if he continues to progress and perform at such a high rate.

Ranking History: Unranked

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