The Rangers have given notice to prospect Willie Calhoun that he will be called up, as his brother and girlfriend announced on Twitter and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News confirms in a tweet. Calhoun came to Texas as the headliner in the deadline blockbuster that sent ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers.
Calhoun, 22, entered the season as a top-100 prospect leaguewide and has steadily raised his stock throughout the year. He’s carrying a .300/.355/.572 batting line with 31 home runs over 534 plate appearances at Triple-A in his first attempt at the highest level of the minors. While he doesn’t draw all that many walks, Calhoun has struck out only 61 times all season.
Predominantly a second baseman in the Los Angeles system, Calhoun has shifted to the outfield since arriving at Round Rock. It seems reasonably likely that he’ll line up there at the MLB level both now and into the future, though that’ll be determined by his play on the field.
It’s not immediately clear how Calhoun will be used over the next couple of weeks, but he could provide instant offense with his potent left-handed bat. As Grant explains, the Rangers have recently lots several key players to injury. While there’s plenty of depth around with rosters having expanded, none of the team’s fill-in options possess Calhoun’s potential as a hitter.
Despite selling at the deadline, the Rangers have held on in a messy race race for the second AL Wild Card that still features seven clubs (including Texas) within three and a half games of the berth. Beyond the need to create room on the 40-man roster, there’s little downside to calling upon Calhoun, who likely would’ve forced his way into the MLB picture in 2018 regardless.
At this stage of the season, of course, the youngster won’t have much opportunity to build up MLB service time (just 18 days, in fact). But he could well find himself in a position to force his way into the team’s plans for early next season — and might well be a strong possibility to appear on a postseason roster if the Rangers can sneak in.