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Colorado Rockies prospects: No. 13, Robert Calaz

The 18-year-old outfielder received Colorado’s top international signing bonus in January 2023

Colorado Rockies v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

13. Robert Calaz (393 points, 23 ballots)

Calaz is one of the helium prospects of this edition of the PuRPs list, rising seven spots since mid-season. The 18-year-old outfielder received Colorado’s top international signing bonus in the 2023 January period at $1.7 million, which is similar to what fellow PuRP Sean Sullivan received as a second-round pick in the 2023 draft. The 6’2” right-handed slugger, 24th on MLB.com’s international amateur free agent prospect rankings for 2023, has above-average power and speed, though plenty of development remains.

Calaz 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, showing immediate mastery of the league. That includes a massive 1.240 OPS against left-handed pitching, but Calaz’s 23% strikeout percentage is elevated for the DSL. Defensively, Calaz mostly played center field with a little of right field mixed in, committing six errors in 38 games.

Calaz has been known by a few different names as a prospect, so while I’m not 100% sure I think this is him (as Robert Gala) in a 2021 showcase:

MLB.com ranks Calaz 15th in the system as a 45 Future Value player, highlighted by 55 grades on his power and speed:

Strong and physical already, the 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter has the chance to be a truly impactful bat. There’s plus raw power for him to continue to grow and tap into, though he was showing some ability to use it in the DSL out of the gate. While there was some question about his hit tool and overall approach as he was being evaluated, he’s done a nice job of drawing walks and limiting strikeouts, albeit in a small sample size.

A solid runner now, Calaz could have a chance to stick in center field if he can maintain his speed as he physically matures. If he slows down, as some expect, he could profile nicely in an outfield corner, with the power and run-producing abilities to fit there.

FanGraphs ranks Calaz 32nd in the system as a 35+ FV player and espoused concerns about his ability to play in the field by calling him a future DH:

The top Rockies prospect signed in January, Calaz is a huge, power-hitting prospect with plus pull-side pop. He’s a bit lumbering, which, combined with his size at this age, caused him to fall toward the very bottom of the 2023 signing class’ long-term defensive projections. He’ll be developed as a corner outfielder; the DH designation here is more to indicate that I think that’s in play for him rather than to denote his immediate position. He has big power potential and basically no hit tool margin for error since he’s very likely to end up at the bottom of the defensive spectrum, DH or not.

Calaz is the farthest away of any prospect on this list, so it’s tricky to rank him alongside a player nearly a decade older than he is (like Noah Davis). There are significant defensive concerns with Calaz, but his ability to stick in center field so far mitigates those somewhat. At the end of the day, plus right-handed power is tough to come by, and the big signing bonus is proof positive of its market value.

Calaz played well in the DSL and will probably come state-side this season for either the complex league team or even Low-A Fresno. I ranked Calaz 14th on my list as a 40+ FV player (which is right where ESPN.com’s Kiley McDaniel just slotted him) because of the bonus, performance, and the fact that he’s still playing center field defensively.