Q&A With Northwestern Commit Anthony Calarco



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Illinois/Wisconsin

Anthony Calarco (New Trier) is the top two-way prospect in Illinois’ 2018 class and recently made his verbal commitment to nearby Northwestern. Calarco is the second sophomore to verbally commit, which seemed to be an easy decision for the New Trier sophomore. The Wildcats have been extremely active on the recruiting front since Head Coach Spencer Allen took over this summer and this is a big get for Chicago’s Big Ten team landing one of the top recruits in the class.

Here’s a look into how Calarco came upon his decision.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Calarco: My expectation was that it would go quickly and smoothly. It actually felt to go slower, but in the big picture it went by pretty quickly.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Calarco: I was looking for very high-level academics, top-notch facilities and a coaching staff that I felt would help me to reach the next level. Also, I was seeking a program in which I could be a two-way player. Northwestern offers all of these.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Calarco: Yes, it did. My parents, brother, grandpa, grandma, cousins, uncles and aunts come to a lot of my games, and I wanted them to be able to watch me play in college.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Calarco: Becoming a part of the first White Sox Elite team gave me a strong platform to be seen.  I felt it really started to heat up after the Chicago Scouts’ showcases. From then I was in contact with schools and the process started rolling.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Calarco: Northwestern first saw me at the PBR Top Prospect Games. From there, I talked to the coaches on a weekly basis. I then went on an unofficial visit in which I met with the coaching staff, an academic advisor, toured the baseball facilities and campus, and observed a practice and met the team. I was also fortunate to enjoy a Northwestern football game.  After this process, I knew Northwestern was where I wanted to be.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Calarco: I really like the new coaching staff. I feel that I connect with them and that I really want to play for them. Additionally, the new baseball facilities are going to be arguably the best in the Big Ten, and of course the academics are very good.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Calarco: University of Missouri, University of Illinois, and University of Louisville.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Calarco: I believe the best player I have faced is Zac Styka. We battle in high school but I also have the pleasure of playing with him in the summer. He is a very good hitter who has hit some of the hardest balls I have ever seen hit. Also, he is a very good leader.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Calarco: Probably in the winter showcase circuit last winter. I hit well and popped well at a couple of showcases and I was in contact with schools following them.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Calarco: Hard work and a great attitude is very important. Show respect to your coaches, your teammates and the umpires.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Calarco: Committing to Northwestern.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Calarco: I feel our high school team is going to be loaded. Our senior and junior classes are very deep. We have the top pitcher in the state with Ben Brecht, and are very strong up the middle. With that said, we are primed to make a deep postseason run this year. 

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Calarco: I play with the White Sox Elite out of the Bulls Sox Academy in Lisle. The most memorable moment was when we won the Longshots tournament in July. Additionally in the semifinal, against the Longshots, I had the walk off hit in extra innings playing California rules.

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