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Dodger Blue Bye-Yu – Part 3

August 7th, 2017 at 9:00 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

As the cornerstone of the Darvish trade, the Rangers got (according to Baseball America’s John Manuel) the fourth-best overall prospect traded across all teams at the deadline or leading up to it; here’s Manuel on Willie Calhoun, who immediately slots in as the Rangers #2 prospect, right behind fellow 2020 likely arrival Leody Taveras:

“A deal to an American League club should help the defensively-challenged Calhoun, whose bat is an asset. The 5-foot-8, 187-pounder is a unique profile in many ways, including his ability to make consistent hard contact. He had just 49 strikeouts in his first 373 at-bats.”

That pretty much follows the trend with Calhoun, who I love because, in this modern era, he’s an aberration: he hits for average and power, without striking out very much. That’s an awesome combo when you consider all the swing and miss built into the present (and likely future) Rangers lineups.

Calhoun is a squat, fireplug of a player, listed at 5’8′ and 187 pounds. I’m a fan of shorter power guys because their strike zones are naturally a bit smaller. Here’s on the Rangers new fireplug (and, hopefully, sparkplugâ??if they can find him a position):

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 40 | Overall: 55

“Calhoun went from a homerless season at Arizona in 2014 to leading all junior college players with 31 homers at Yavapai (Ariz.) in 2015, prompting the Dodgers to draft him in the fourth round. He had one of the best pro debuts in his Draft class and backed it up by leading the Texas League in total bases (236) and RBI (88) after jumping to Double-A for his first full season. He continued to mash in Triple-A this year, enhancing his value before becoming the centerpiece prospect in the trade that sent Yu Darvish to Los Angeles in July.

Calhoun also finished second in the TL in homers (27) and strikeout rate (one per 8.6 plate appearances), demonstrating his rare combination of hitting ability and power. A left-handed hitter, he has a quick bat and a knack for making contact, and he might do even more damage once he learns to wait a little better for pitches he can drive. He could be a .280 hitter with 20 or more homers per season at his peak.

That would be quality production for a second baseman, but Calhoun probably won’t remain in the infield. His quickness, hands and arm all grade as below average at second, though he has worked hard on his defense. An outfielder and …

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Tags: Adrian Beltre, Clayton Kershaw, Dave Roberts, Sliders, Willie Calhoun, Yu Darvish

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