The Los Angeles Dodgers rebuilt farm system has not only delivered the likes of Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, but also been the subject of external attention. That translated to Walker Buehler, Willie Calhoun and Alex Verdugo, among others, being the subject of trade interest at the non-waiver deadline.
By all accounts, the Dodgers were unwilling to part with Buehler or Verdugo in any deal. They also had a preference to retain Yadier Alvarez and Calhoun. But ultimately it was Calhoun who got packaged to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Yu Darvish.
In losing Calhoun as part of the deal, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi believes the 22-year-old is on the verge of making an impact with the Rangers, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
“Willie Calhoun is a big league-ready, potentially middle of the order bat,” Zaidi said. “Rangers fans are going to have a chance to see him soon.”
Since being selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft, Calhoun has hit at every Minor League level. Amid questions over future position, he recently began playing left field for Oklahoma City.
Trading Calhoun was generally viewed as the most plausible scenario for the Dodgers, because of concerns over his ability to play second base at the Major League level. Scouts had long predicted Calhoun’s long-term outlook to be with an American League club in a role as a designated hitter.
He batted .298/.357/.574 with 24 doubles, five triples, 23 home runs and 67 RBI over 99 games this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Calhoun led the team in doubles, RBI, slugging percentage and was second in total hits (111).
Calhoun has made five starts there for Triple-A Round Rock. He’s 5-for-20 with four home runs and eight RBI during that time.