Willie Calhoun Might Get the Call Soon
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. (Provided/ WikimediaCommons).
Willie Calhoun, second baseman for the Oklahoma City Dodgers and one of the top hitters in Minor League Baseball, is a player that Manager Bill Haselman says has the potential to be called up to the Majors.
On the MLB’s official website, Calhoun is listed as the Los Angeles Dodgers third best prospect, while also ranking as the third best second baseman prospect in the entire minor league.
Calhoun plays for the LA Dodgers Triple-A ball club, and even though the Dodgers currently boast one of the best records in the Major League, Haselman says Calhoun’s work ethic gives him a chance to play in the MLB.
Calhoun played high school baseball in Benicia, California, just a six-hour drive from his future Major League team in Los Angeles. During the 2017 season, Calhoun has been one of the best players in the Minor Leagues, earning Mid-Season All-Star honors.
“Smart hitter, knows what he wants to do and has a good plan going up to the plate,” Manager Bill Haselman said.
Before the All-Star game, Calhoun had a .306 batting average, 98 hits and placed fourth in the Pacific Coast League in homeruns with 19.
One area Calhoun has needed to improve upon is his defense, but Haselman says he’s been making significant strides.
“Beginning of the year he was working really hard on defense and he’s improved a lot defensively,” Haselman said.
As much as Calhoun helps on the field, it is his competiveness that separates him from the rest of the pack, making him a unique talent for the Dodgers to evaluate. As Calhoun finished up the All-Star game, the OKC Dodgers were getting ready to play the New Orleans Baby Cakes on July 13. Calhoun would have to take a late flight and arrive the day of the game, to make a game that is only one game in a 141 game season. And that’s exactly what he did.
Before being drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB draft, Calhoun was selected in the 17th round of the 2013 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Instead of signing with the team, Calhoun elected to go to college and play for the University of Arizona where he could raise his draft stock. Calhoun spent one season with the Arizona Wildcats before transferring to Yavapai Junior College in 2015.
While at Yavapai, Calhoun showcased his talents that now have him on the brink of being called up to the Majors. Calhoun had 31 homeruns and a .432 batting average, all while leading Yavapai to the best overall record in the American Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC).
Calhoun has climbed the Dodgers developmental teams quickly, jumping from the rookie level to the Triple-AAA in just two years. While playing in Tulsa for the Dodgers Double-A team in 2016, Calhoun led the Texas league in total bases (236) and RBI (88). After putting up these numbers the Dodgers moved him up to Triple-A, just one step away from the Majors.
“I think he’s done a tremendous job thus far and if he keeps working he’s just going to get that much better down the line.”