Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Was Kole Calhoun As Good As Expected In 2014?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Angels’ Kole Calhoun entering 2014. Hitting atop the Los Angeles’ lineup was an enviable spot, and he certainly did deliver:

493 At Bats
.272 Batting Average (134 Hits)
17 Home Runs
58 RBI
90 Runs
5 Stolen Bases
.325 On Base Percentage
.450 Slugging Percentage
.313 Batting Average on Balls in Play

There’s a lot to like in those numbers, as he showed similar abilities to what he did after being recalled in 2013. He hit the ball hard (23.8% line drive rate) and showed a bit of pop (13.4% HR/FB). With the potential to score a lot of runs, what exactly is there not to like?

Very little, actually, as he also showed an ability to hit both RHP and LHP:

Line Drive Rate
Strikeout Rate
vs. LHP103.25225.3%.31221.6%
vs. RHP390.27723.4%.31318.8%

That type of ability keeps him on he he lineup every day, something that isn’t always the case for left-handed hitters. Obviously, the more you are in the lineup the more potential you have to generate counting stats. With Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton hitting behind him, would it really be a surprise to see him push 100 runs scored?

If you are searching for a negative, it would be his lack of stolen bases. He swiped 20 bases in the minors back in 2011 and had 22 in 650 career Triple-A AB. It’s not like he’s a burner, but you’d like to think that he’d be able to chip in double-digits.

Part of the “problem” could be Mike Trout hitting behind him, because he likely won’t be asked to take pitches and let Calhoun run. Still, with more experience could come more leeway and attempts. Anything would help, but if he gets to 10 his value rises that much more.

While Calhoun certainly won’t be a sexy pick, we are talking about a potential 20/10 player with a solid average and an ability to score 100 runs. While he’s not going to pile on the RBI, that sounds a lot like Alex Gordon type numbers (in 2013 Gordon hit .265 with 20 HR, 11 SB and 90 R).

There’s no reason to think Calhoun can’t get to that type of production, making him a borderline OF2 in all formats for 2015.

Source – Fangraphs

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  1. Carlito says:

    Such a tough call whether I should keep him or not.

    • Ray Kuhn says:

      Is your decision based on any other factors such as auction price or draft round? Depending on the parameters, he could be a very good keeper.


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