When the Texas Rangers traded ace Yu Darvish at the trade deadline it left many wondering what the direction the organization was headed. Texas acquired three players for Darvish, and one might be the next superstar in Arlington.
Both Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields will likely have starting roles in the outfield next season. Veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will be mixed more into a designated hitter role which should open up a spot in the outfield.
The Rangers could easily fill that role in the off-season, but should they consider giving it to youngster Willie Calhoun? It’s hard to imagine the Rangers handing a starting role to a player that has played just 13 MLB games in his career.
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Although Calhoun could very well earn a starting spot in the outfield during Spring Training. In Triple-A this season Calhoun hit .300 with 31 home runs and 93 RBI in 128 games. He walked 42 times with just 61 strikeouts during his time in the minors.
It is clear that Calhoun’s bat is ready for the MLB level, and he performanced well in his small sample size. During his 13 games with the Rangers, Calhoun hit .265 with one home run and four runs batted in.
During his time in the minors Calhoun played plenty of infield. The Rangers used Calhoun exclusively at left field during his 13 games this season. It looks like Texas is committed to Calhoun in the outfield with Rougned Odor covering second base right now.
The only opening on the Rangers defense heading into the off-season is likely an outfield spot and possibly another catcher. That means Calhoun should see most of his time in the outfield heading forward.
It seems borderline insane to hand a rookie the starting outfield spot on Opening Day. It’s true, Calhoun shouldn’t be a lock for a starting spot, but should get a fair opportunity at the job once the spring hits.