Getting To Know Willie Calhoun
Writer: Michael Bier
- Andy Nietupski
On August 31, 2017, minutes before the Major League Baseball trading deadline, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels pulled off a deal that sent RHP Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in exchange for RHP A.J. Alexy, infielder Brendon Davis, and second baseman/outfielder Willie Calhoun. Calhoun headlined the return for the Rangers, and since joining their AAA affiliate (Round Rock) he’s hit .279 with 4 homers and 9 RBI. Prior to joining the Rangers, Calhoun hit .298 with 23 bombs and drove in 67 runs with Oklahoma City. Based on the numbers put up by Calhoun, you can tell the Rangers acquired something special, and Calhoun values his future club just as much as the Rangers value him. Calhoun’s attitude is something I’m sure Ranger fans will love, which should make him a fan favorite in no time. Don't believe me? Well for starters, take a look at this video of Willie doing his best Babe Ruth impression, while at the same time hitting a homer… IN GAME!
Calhoun's freshman year at The University Of Arizona wasn't all that great. Disappointing performances both on the field and in the classroom forced an early exit from Arizona, which resulted in Willie enrolling in Yavapai Junior College. At Yavapai, the name Willie Calhoun began to receive some recognition. Calhoun’s performance on the field was not to be overlooked, and in 2015 he was drafted 132nd overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The following year, Calhoun was invited to the all star festivities in San Diego to participate in the Futures Game.
“It was exciting, I had a good time. To be able to do that was an honor. It wasn't too overwhelming.”
Calhoun’s mental suit played a key role in his journey from a disastrous stint at Arizona to being considered one of the better prospects in baseball.
He mentions how the Futures Game wasn't too overwhelming, and that's because his understanding of the mental side of baseball is far above average. Calhoun stands 5’8 and weighs in at 187 pounds, but that doesn't hold him back one bit.
“I've learned to not give up. You have to keep fighting through things no matter what happens. You have to have a positive mindset.”
Calhoun will most likely get the call up during September’s roster expansion, and with the Rangers in the hunt for a wild card spot, Willie’s impact could be the final push the Rangers need to make the playoffs for a third consecutive year.