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From BR Bullpen
Alberto Jose Callaspo
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 175 lb.
 Biographical Information
Alberto Callaspo was signed as a free agent by scouts Carlos Porte and Amador Arias out of Venezuela for the Anaheim Angels in 2001. He began his professional career with the 2001 DSL Angels, hitting .356, third in the league, and tying Ricardo Santiago for the league lead with 98 hits. He slugged .447, stole 14 bases and scored 55 times. Callaspo made the league's All-Star team at shortstop. Promoted to the Provo Angels in 2002 and moved to second base, Alberto batted .338/.374/.488 with 10 triples and 70 runs in 70 games. He led the Pioneer League in runs, triples and hits (101), was fourth in average and led second basemen in put-outs (134), assists (207), double plays (93) and fielding percentage (.972). He made the league All-Star team.
Callaspo was sent to the Cedar Rapids Kernels for 2003 and continued to hit, at .327/.377/.428 with 20 steals in 26 tries, 38 doubles and 86 runs. He drew 42 walks while striking out just 28 times in 514 AB. Baseball America rated him the 7th-best prospect among second basemen and Midwest League managers picked him as the 11-best prospect in the league. He led the MWL in average, runs and hits (168). He made the All-Star team at second base. In three years, he had made the All-Star team and led the league in hits every season.
Alberto was with the Arkansas Travelers in 2004 and hit .284/.338/.376 with disappointing results on the bases (only 15 for 29 in steals). Moved back to short, he led Texas League shortstops with 200 put-outs and got the most at-bats in the league (550). Managers picked him as the 10th-best prospect in the league and Baseball America rated him as the #10 shortstop prospect.
In 2005, Callaspo returned to the Travelers and hit .297/.346/.406 as the second baseman. Making it to AAA at age 22, he hit .316/.345/.448 for the Salt Lake Stingers. He made the Texas League All-Star team at second base. On March 1, 2006, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jason Bulger and was assigned to the Tucson Sidewinders. He hit .336 with 12 triples, 5 homers, and 61 RBI in 104 games with the club. In August of 2006, Callaspo was called up by the Diamondbacks, and he made his big league debut on August 6th. He finished 7th in the US-based minors in average. Baseball America rated him as possessing the best strike-zone judgment and being the best defensive second baseman in the Pacific Coast League. He won the PCL batting title; James Loney hit .380 but this drops to .336 when one adds enough plate appearances for him to qualify. He made the PCL All-Star team at second base. Callaspo was 10 for 42 with the 2006 Diamondbacks.
In 2007, Callaspo struggled, only batting .215/.265/.271 in 56 games for the Diamondbacks, though he hit .341/.406/.491 in 59 games for Tucson. He also had off-the-field issues. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault during a disagreement with his wife and suspended by Arizona for a period.
In the Venezuelan Winter League, Callaspo hit .331/.394/.422 to finish fourth in average behind Jose Castillo, Gregor Blanco and Eliezer Alfonzo. Callaspo batted .346/.414/.385 for the Tigres de Aragua in the 2008 Caribbean Series. He was one of the few MLB-experienced players who did not leave the team after the Venezuelan season ended.
He was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Billy Buckner on December 14, 2007. In July of 2010, his original organization traded Will Smith (minors03) and Sean O'Sullivan to the Royals to re-acquire him.
Main sources: 2002-2007 Baseball Almanacs