Willie Calhoun has been a promising prospect in the Texas Rangers organization since he was acquired in a trade in 2017. The Rangers saw potential in the young outfielder, and he quickly rose through the organization’s ranks to make his big league debut later that year.
In this article, we’ll explore how the Rangers acquired Calhoun and what he’s brought to the team.
The Trade That Brought Calhoun to the Rangers
In July 2017, the Texas Rangers made a big move by trading their ace pitcher, Yu Darvish, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The trade involved a package of four players, including second baseman Willie Calhoun, who was seen as the Rangers’ second-best prospect at the time.
Darvish, who had been with the Rangers since 2012, was having a solid season, posting a 4.01 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 137 innings pitched. However, with the Rangers falling out of contention in the AL West, they decided to trade away the impending free agent for some young talent.
The negotiation process for the trade was not an easy one, as the Rangers were looking to get the best return possible for their prized pitcher. The Dodgers, who were in first place in the NL West at the time, were looking to add a proven starter for their playoff push.
After some back and forth, the terms of the trade were set. In addition to Calhoun, the Rangers received pitcher A.J. Alexy and infielder Brendon Davis, while the Dodgers sent Darvish and catcher Tony Watson to Texas.
For the Rangers, the trade represented a shift towards rebuilding and acquiring young talent. Calhoun, in particular, was seen as a potential star in the making.
He had been tearing up the Pacific Coast League, hitting .300/.355/.572 with 23 home runs and 67 RBIs for the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate.
After the trade, Calhoun made his major league debut in September 2017, playing in 13 games for the Rangers and batting .265/.324/.353 with one home run and four RBIs.
He has since gone on to establish himself as a solid contributor to the team, playing mostly in left field and posting a .249/.300/.452 batting line with 40 homers and 113 RBIs in 250 career games with Texas.
Overall, the trade for Darvish was a significant move for both the Rangers and the Dodgers, with each team making a calculated decision based on their playoff aspirations and long-term plans.
While Darvish helped the Dodgers reach the World Series that year, the Rangers hope that the players they acquired in the trade will help them build a contending team for years to come.
Calhoun’s Time in the Minor Leagues
Willie Calhoun was born on November 4, 1994, in Vallejo, California. Calhoun was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft out of Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona.
In his time with Yavapai College, Calhoun became the all-time hits leader, breaking the record held by current MLB player and former Houston Astros infielder JD Davis.
The Dodgers quickly saw potential in Calhoun as he displayed a keen eye for the ball and exceptional hitting skills that earned him the Pacific Association Division II Conference Player of the Year award.
Stats and Achievements in the Minor Leagues
Calhoun quickly made an impression in the minor leagues as he dominated, earning accolades and awards in every level he played. In his first season, he was named a Pioneer League All-Star for Rookie-level Ogden.
Over the course of 61 games in 2015, Calhoun hit .316 with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs.
In 2016, Calhoun was promoted to High-A Rancho Cucamonga, and he didn’t let up. He slashed .254/.318/.469 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs in 132 games and was ranked as the Dodgers’ No.
4 prospects by MLB Pipeline.
Calhoun continued to impress when he reached Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2017. He slashed .298/.357/.574 with 31 home runs and 93 RBIs for the Dodgers’ Pacific Coast League affiliate and was named to the PCL All-Star team for the second consecutive year.
Development of Calhoun’s Skills
Calhoun’s most notable skill is his hitting ability. He has shown an innate ability to barrel the ball and hit with authority to all fields. Even in his early career, his power was one of the mainstays that earned him recognition and kept him moving up the ladder in the minor leagues.
Despite his hitting prowess, Calhoun has struggled defensively. He has spent most of his time as a designated hitter in his early career but has seen some action in the outfield.
Overall, Calhoun’s time in the minor leagues showcases his potential and talent which would lead to his successful debut in the majors.
The Debut of Calhoun in the Major Leagues
Willie Calhoun’s Major League debut was highly anticipated not only by the Rangers fans but also by baseball enthusiasts. It was on September 12, 2017, when he made his debut against the Seattle Mariners, starting at left field and batting sixth.
He looked calm and collected in his debut despite the pressure and hype surrounding it.
Initial Performance Review
In his first big league at-bat, he faced Marco Gonzales of the Seattle Mariners, whom he grounded out to first base. In the 4th inning, he got his first major league hit, a line drive to center field, and scored his first run on a two-run homer by Robinson Chirinos.
Willie Calhoun showed glimpses of his power-hitting capabilities with a double off the right-field wall in the 6th inning. He ended his debut game going 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Contribution to the Team’s Performance
Although Calhoun’s volume of work was limited, he made a notable contribution to the team’s performance in his debut. His hit-and-run scored significantly uplifted the team, leading to a massive win over their opponents with a final score of 10-4.
The energy and enthusiasm that he brought to the field were a breath of fresh air for the team and the fans.
In conclusion, Willie Calhoun’s debut in the Major Leagues was impressive. It demonstrated his calmness and ability to deliver despite the pressure and expectancy surrounding him it fulfilled of his performance in what he can do best.
Calhoun’s debut was a massive success, and it was only a beginning of a bright future.
Calhoun’s Position and Role in the Rangers
Calhoun plays left field for the Texas Rangers and has been with the team since July 2017. He was acquired as a part of the Yu Darvish trade and is considered one of the team’s top prospects.
Laying Out Calhoun’s Responsibilities
Calhoun’s primary responsibility is to play left field and provide power in the lineup. He also has a good eye at the plate and can draw walks, which helps get runners on base for the rest of the team.
Additionally, he needs to be able to make smart decisions on the basepaths and play solid defense in the outfield.
Calhoun for the Current and Upcoming Seasons
The Rangers are hopeful that Calhoun will continue to develop his skills and become a consistent contributor to the team. They expect him to hit for power and use his good eye to draw walks and get on base.
Additionally, they hope that he will improve defensively and become a more complete player overall. The team is looking to rebuild and get younger, so Calhoun’s development is particularly important.
Overall, he will be a crucial part of the Rangers’ plans for the future.
Willie Calhoun has quickly become an important player for the Texas Rangers since he was acquired in a trade in 2017 as part of the Yu Darvish deal. Rated as the Rangers’ No.
2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Calhoun has impressed with his hitting ability in the majors.
As the Rangers look to rebuild, Calhoun’s potential promises to be a crucial component of the team’s future success.
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