May 27, 2020

Breakout Candidate: Willie Calhoun (MLB Trade Rumors)

Willie Calhoun was up and down between the majors and Triple-A quite a few times between 2017 and the first half of 2019. Last June, he got his long-awaited opportunity to play every day, emerging as the Rangers’ starting left fielder. He made the most of it at the plate, hitting .269/.323/.524 (110 wRC+) with 21 home runs in 337 plate appearances. Yet even those solid results seem to belie an impressive, exceedingly rare skillset. Very few players can match Calhoun’s combination of bat-to-ball skills and power.

Last year, Calhoun made contact on 85.4% of his swings; he swung and missed at just 7.2% of total pitches he saw, per Fangraphs. Both those marks are well better than the respective league averages of 76.2% and 11.1%. That places Calhoun among the top 30 or 40 contact hitters in the game- very good, if not quite exceptional. However, unlike many of the game’s bat control artists, Calhoun is also capable of doing damage. His 89.7 MPH average exit velocity would have placed…

Read “Breakout Candidate: Willie Calhoun” at MLB Trade Rumors