A Quick Look at New Ranger Willie Calhoun

By Lindsey Jones
PSDC Rangers and Cowboys Writer

The Texas Rangers had a tough decision to make this last Monday as the trade deadline approached. Their ace, Yu Darvish, was set to become a free agent at the season’s end and the team’s hopes for a wild card spot in this year’s playoffs seemed to get further and further away. Texas’ GM Jon Daniels ultimately decided he would get something for Darvish now, rather than letting him walk and only getting a compensation pick in next years draft.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had coveted Darvish for some time but were unwilling to give up their most prized prospects for the right hander. The Dodgers and Rangers ended up agreeing to a deal centered around the Dodgers 4th ranked prospect Willie Calhoun along with low-A pitcher A.J. Alexy and low-A infielder Brendon Davis. The main prize in this trade for the Rangers is definitely Calhoun, who was a 4th round pick in 2015 out of Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ. In just 63 games at Yavapai, Calhoun hit 31 home runs and only stuck out 13 times.

Calhoun has mainly been viewed as a 5’8” power hitting LF or DH type player because he has been scouted as a below average defender. In 2016, playing for the Dodgers AA affiliate as a second baseman, Calhoun had a total of 21 errors in 119 games. Calhoun has shown improvements this season, only having 6 errors in 102 games and in the 15 games, he has played in the OF this season he has 0. The big upside that Calhoun brings the Rangers is his raw power and overall hitting ability. Many scouts believe he is ready to hit in the big leagues now and that he will likely be one of the Rangers September call-ups so they can see for themselves. In his 102 games this season at AAA, Calhoun is hitting .294 with 24 home runs and 69 RBI. The most intriguing thing about Calhoun, in my opinion, is how he is able to have big time power and a low strikeout percentage. In 385 at-bats this season he only has a total of 50 strikeouts.

“Some guys just have a knack (for) bat to ball skills and big power for not a huge guy, but really kind of a throwback hitter (with) no batting gloves and can really swing the bat,” Jon Daniels said at the trade deadline press conference when asked about Willie Calhoun.

The Rangers think they found a guy that will fit into Texas’ future for many years to come while Daniels also hinted that the Rangers will keep in touch with Darvish this offseason about a potential return to Arlington next year.

 

To read more by Lindsey, click here, and stay tuned to ProjectShanks.com

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