Texas Rangers: Can Willie Calhoun Replace Carlos Gomez in Center?

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ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Willie Calhoun (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Willie Calhoun (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers are likely going to be searching for a new center fielder this off-season with Carlos Gomez eligible for free agency. Could rookie Willie Calhoun fill the hole left in the outfield?

Filling the starting rotation is going to be the top priority for the Texas Rangers. After that they will need to find someone to replace Carlos Gomez in the outfield. Could youngster Willie Calhoun step up and be that guy for Texas?

The Rangers received Calhoun in a 4-player trade with the Dodgers that sent ace starter Yu Darvish to Los Angeles. The other two players Texas received are still in the minors, but Calhoun looks ready to breakout.

In 13 games with Texas, Calhoun hit .265 with one home run and four RBI. It’s a small sample size, but he launched 31 home runs in the minors during 2017, and looks like he could be a big contributor in 2018.

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During his time in the MLB, Calhoun only played left field. The Rangers could potentially move him to center or just keep Delino DeShields there. Then put Calhoun in left field, move Nomar Mazara to right, and Shin-Soo Choo to designated hitter.

It’s not a perfect formula, but it’s one that could work for the Rangers. They wouldn’t have to spend a lot of payroll on outfield help, and could focus on adding pitching this off-season.

If Calhoun is truly the slugger that he was in the minors then the Rangers have a real superstar on their hands. We’ll see how the off-season goes, but the Rangers could potentially sit back and let Calhoun fill in for Gomez in 2018.

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