LA Angels’ Kole Calhoun poised for career year

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 29: Kole Calhoun
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 29: Kole Calhoun /

Long time LA Angels right fielder, Kole Calhoun, is looking to elevate his top-notch Spring Training into one of the best seasons of his career. Only three seasons removed from a 26 HR season in 2015, Calhoun is already positioning himself for an electric 2018 season.

To no ones surprise, Kole Calhoun is exploding out of the fate after a phenomenal Spring Training in which he produced an eye popping .353/.364/.510 slash line in 51 AB’s. That power trend continued with Calhoun’s first start of the 2018 season against the Oakland A’s, a start which saw Calhoun pound 3 hits, including a triple and a HR while scoring twice, in 5 AB’s.

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Kole Calhoun is primed for one of the best seasons of his career; typically his power numbers point to gap-heavy power, his only 25+ HR season being in 2015 which also saw him knock in 23 doubles. Calhoun’s 2016 saw him reverse his luck with 18 HR’s and 35 doubles in 594 AB’s.

What’s truly fascinating about Calhoun’s power is it’s presence at the top of the order, Calhoun batting 2nd behind Zack Cozart to start the season. This is the type of game-play that creates huge RBI situations, notably elevating Albert Pujols to 3rd high AB’s with RISP in 2018. Calhoun is a power-hitter disguised as a table setter; even in his down year of 2017 he pulled together 71 RBI’s while scoring 77 runs himself. In fact his best years saw him collect 91 runs in 2016 and 83 RBI’s in 2015.

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Kole Calhoun has faced inconsistencies in his career, notably his true power numbers. He’s flipped between a HR/RBI guy and a gap-assaulting run scorer, but he’s never truly put it all together in one single season. Power wise? His best season was in 2015 with his .256/.308./.422 slash line with 26 HR’s and 83 RBI’s. Consistency? That came in 2016 when Calhoun posted a season of .271/.348/.438 hitting with 35 doubles and 91 runs scored.

That kind of productivity put together in a single season would rival Mike Trout’s level of play.

Next: Zack Cozart shines in his Angel debut

The full season presence of the powerful Justin Upton and hard-hitting Zack Cozart offering Calhoun support in the lineup, alongside the reliable regulars in Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons, may very well create the recipe for not only the best season of Kole Calhouns career, but also a memorable season of Angels baseball.