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Royals prospect Orlando Calixte has been a hit since joining Class AA Northwest Arkansas

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, May 24, 2014, at 11:25 p.m.

Shortstop Orlando Calixte is making up for lost time at Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

A visa issue kept Calixte, a native of the Dominican Republic, out of action for the first 34 games of the season. But in his first 12 games with the Naturals, Calixte hit .298 with two doubles and three home runs, including two walk-off solo shots.

“He is very aggressive with the fastball and can hit a fastball,” said Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo. “He’s jumped out and really helped that club. It’s a better team than the record (16-30) shows, and I think with Orlando in the lineup, it just solidifies it even more.”

Calixte has a modest four walks with eight strikeouts. Not impressed? A year ago, he struck out 131 times in 123 games for Northwest Arkansas.

“He’s always been able to hit a fastball,” Picollo said. “It seems like Orlando has been in our system for a long period of time, but he’s only 22 years old. He’s really shown improvement with plate discipline and pitch selection.”

The Star’s top-15 prospect list

• 1. Kyle Zimmer, P, Class AA Northwest Arkansas

Expected to join the Naturals in the next week

• 2. Raul Mondesi, SS, Class A-Adv. Wilmington

Missed the last week after being scratched May 17 because of back spasms

• 3. Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Northwest Arkansas

Leads the Texas League with 33 RBIs

• 4. Sean Manaea, LHP, Wilmington

He has 35 strikeouts in his last 21 1/3 innings pitched

• 5. Hunter Dozier, 3B, Wilmington

Second in the Carolina League with 29 walks

• 6. Miguel Almonte, RHP, Wilmington

Has 50 strikeouts and 16 walks in 49 innings

• 7. Orlando Calixte, 3B, Northwest Arkansas

Hitting .391 during a current six-game hitting streak

• 8. Bubba Starling, OF, Wilmington

He has a 12-game hitting streak

• 9. Christian Binford, RHP, Wilmington

Leads the Carolina League with 56 strikeouts

• 10. Jason Adam, RHP, Northwest Arkansas

Has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last eight starts

• 11. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Northwest Arkansas

Having a rough May, batting just .196

• 12. Elier Hernandez, OF, Class A Lexington

He was placed on disabled list Saturday

• 13. Sam Selman, LHP, Northwest Arkansas

He is 11th in the Texas League in ERA (3.29)

• 14. Christian Colon, SS, Class AAA Omaha

He’s hitting .318 with 12 walks, 10 strikeouts in last 28 games

• 15. Sugar Ray Marimon, RHP, Omaha

His 2.74 ERA is 11th in the Pacific Coast League

To reach Pete Grathoff, send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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