Hold that little hitting streak. Willie Calhoun has gone to the Texas Rangers.
Calhoun, one of the bright spots as an outfielder on a Nashville Sounds team that has struggled this season with a 13-25 record, got the call-up today to report to the major league Texas Rangers. He was promptly put into the starting lineup as a designated hitter against Kansas City.
And he promptly hit a home run.
That Rangers lineup had a strong Tennessee presence to it, with former Forrest High School and Vanderbilt pitcher Mike Minor on the mound and Memphis Christian Brothers High School product Logan Forsythe at shortstop, replacing the injured Elvis Andrus.
The Andrus injury, to his right hamstring, put him on the 10-day injured list. The Rangers also optioned right-hander Wei-Chieh Huang to AAA Nashville and recalled left-hander Jeffrey Springs from the Sounds in addition to Calhoun.
Calhoun had put together a 15-game hitting streak in the Pacific Coast League, reaching that point in Memphis with two hits on Tuesday. The streak does include a suspended game, however, as Calhoun walked and was hitless in a game suspended in the fourth inning May 10 against Oklahoma City.
Calhoun has been hot. His batting average has risen to .304. He has an on-base percentage of .416 and an on-base-plus-slugging mark of .973. In his last 10 games he was batting .394. For the season, Calhoun has eight home runs and 22 RBIs. He is not a great base-running threat and has one stolen base this season.
He has been in the big leagues before, appearing in 13 games with the Rangers in 2017 and 35 more in 2018. Calhoun became part of the Rangers organization as part of the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that sent Yu Darvish to L.A. Calhoun played 99 games in 2017 at the Dodgers’ AAA club in Oklahoma City.
Before the 2018 season, Baseball America named Calhoun the top prospect in the Rangers organization. He played 108 games at Round Rock last year, when the Express was Texas’ AAA affiliate. The Rangers’ tie-in with the Sounds began this year.
Calhoun has played some second base before, which creates a measure of curiosity given veteran Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor‘s recent struggles. But Calhoun never really proved himself at second, and it appears he will be in the outfield in Texas, when not designated hitting.
Calhoun told reporters in Dallas today that he had watched a lot of video to try to figure out his swing. He apparently found some useful information, because he has been quite successful lately.
Calhoun played at Benecia High School in California. He was drafted in 2015 out of Yavapai College, a community college in Arizona, after beginning at the University of Arizona.
His 15-game hitting streak is the longest active streak in the Pacific Coast League. That suspended game is scheduled to resume deep into August. So the minor-league streak would resume when Calhoun returns to AAA. If he returns to AAA.