Willie Calhoun came to the Texas Rangers as the centerpiece of the trade which sent Yu Darvish to the LA Dodgers in 2017.
In three seasons of professional ball, Calhoun has smacked 71 home runs and hit for a .346 average.
“We’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box,” said Rangers manager Jeff Banister.
Now they want to see what he can do in left field.
Calhoun was a second baseman in the Dodgers farm system. He’s making the move to left field with the Rangers.
“When I first moved, it obviously wasn’t ideal,” Calhoun said. “But as I get more reps I get more comfortable out there, and I think that’s what I need.”
Thanks primarily to social media, Calhoun is tagged with being a poor defensive player.
Calhoun says he’s working hard to prove the naysayers wrong.
“I’m just overcoming everything and trying to get that label of a bad defender off my back.”
The opinion that counts belongs to manager Jeff Banister.
He says Calhoun is right where he expects him to be, but there are always challenges for players changing positions.
“There’s definite hurdles that have to be crossed over,” said Banister, “namely, reading the ball off the bat, being attentive, being focused. How does the ball move off the bat, the speed of the ball off the bat, time and space. Steps to the wall. Steps to the line. Decision making on throws. It’s challenging.”
Willie Calhoun says challenge accepted.