Los Angeles Angels Right Field: 1st half evaluation
By Ryan Whitehead
Coming into the second half of the season, one of the Los Angeles Angels healthiest positions has been right field, with leadoff man Kole Calhoun starting most of the games in that position. Calhoun has been one of the few players that have avoided the injury bug that struck the Angels hard during the first half.
For the Los Angeles Angels, Calhoun has in fact been the work horse of right field, starting in 87 games so far. Besides Trout, Calhoun comes into the second half batting over .300. In his last seven games, Calhoun has been batting .321 with nine hits and eight runs scored.
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Besides his bat, Calhoun has shown off his defensive skills throughout the first half, with his arm and his valiant efforts to catch any fly ball that comes his way. In a season that has been filled with disappointment so far for Angel fans, Calhoun has certainly been another bright spot in the outfield along with Trout.
While most of time batting leadoff in the lineup, Calhoun is expected to remain in the second spot once the second half gets underway. OC Register reported that manager Mike Scioscia rejected the idea of moving Calhoun behind Albert Pujols in the cleanup spot.
Nothing more can be stressed about Calhoun in the fact that he has been a workforce since his early days as an Angel. Many Angel fans, including this writer, certainly thought Calhoun deserved a trip to San Diego this year as an All-Star.
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Calhoun has saved many fly balls this season, but as pretty much the sole occupant of right field, Calhoun is carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders. If Calhoun falls victim to the injury bug, right field will be in deep trouble. Scioscia will have rely on utility outfielders Todd Cunningham and Rafeal Ortega, whom both have had a total of three starts in right field this season.
Grade: A- Kole Calhoun has been very steady both offensively and defensively this season. He has hit for power and also a good average hitting .288 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI’s with a .362 OBP. He also has a .436 slugging percentage and an .801 OPS. Defensively Calhoun has had a bit of a down year with a .977 fielding percentage making as many errors (4) as he did all of last season. However, Calhoun has been pretty solid overall and hopefully will be manning right field along side of Trout in center for many years to come.