LA Angels News

LA Angels Roundtable: Six Under-The-Radar Key/Bounce Back Players for 2019

By Vincent Page
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 12: Shohei Ohtani #17 hits a two out single scoring Kole Calhoun #56 and Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ninth inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on August 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 12: Shohei Ohtani #17 hits a two out single scoring Kole Calhoun #56 and Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ninth inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on August 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels runs the bases after hitting a homerun in the 7th inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels runs the bases after hitting a homerun in the 7th inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images) /

2019 should be a bounce back year for the LA Angels, but that will involved bounce back seasons from players, along with some under-the-radar players making big contributions. So we here at Halo Hangout are each bringing you one name we think will be vital in the Halo’s 2019 success.

Kole Calhoun

By Benny Bam (@BennyBamLegacy)

As many directions as this could go positionally from guys like Walsh, Fletcher, Bour, or a Zach Cozart rebound, I will stick with my gut. Short and sweet. Kole Calhoun batted .208 after a .120-or so start to the 2018 season. His career average is much better at .252.

There is no way he starts as bad in 2019, a contract year. In advanced stats he hit .130 on 0-2 counts, and .131 on 1-2; avoiding them requires fixable discipline at the plate. If his defense stays at 98% fielding with twice as many assists as errors, and his batting numbers are more like late 2018, Kole could be one of the most valuable Angels in 2019.

Outside the numbers and statistical likelihood’s, he is a clubhouse leader for the Angels whose grit and determination should bode well with former catcher-turned-skipper Ausmus, just as it was cited in his exit by Mike Scioscia. Add in a new managerial style that will take an analytical approach to where players bat best in the lineup, instead of crossing fingers and hoping for the best, and it could be the best we have seen of the Red Baron.

Of course, this is assuming he stays healthy, which typically isn’t a problem for Kole, since he has played 127, 159, 157, 155, and 137 games the last 5 seasons. Calhoun will be back to contributing at least career averages in 2019, and anything more will only help boost the teams chances in the AL West.

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