Kole Calhoun went from being an eighth-round selection in the 2010 MLB Draft to a fan favorite on the Los Angeles Angels. Much of the 2010s can be remembered for the missed opportunities to make noise in the postseason while Mike Trout was superhuman, but Calhoun was a rare nice story for the Angels.
He was not a highly-touted prospect when picked in the eighth round but zoomed his way through the Angels system, skipping AA entirely, before being promoted for the first time in 2012. It'd take a couple of years, but Calhoun became an Angels regular in 2014 and was consistently solid for a six-year stretch from 2014-2019.
In those seasons, Calhoun would slash .248/.321/.424 averaging 22 home runs and 70 RBI in 148 games per season. He never made an all-star team but won a Gold Glove and again, was just a consistent presence in a lineup that lacked that outside of Trout.
Calhoun's Angels tenure lasted parts of eight seasons and he's a player fans still really like. After his time with the Angels came to an end, he started bouncing around. He signed a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks and spent the 2022 season with Texas. He'd struggle with the Rangers, and had to really work his way back to the majors. He was so close to reaching a goal he had set, so he worked hard to achieve it.
Kole Calhoun releases touching video after reaching 10 years of service in MLB
Reaching ten years of MLB service time is something less than 10% of players accomplish. It's hard enough just to make it to the big leagues, but sticking for a decade is a huge deal. Not only is it something that shows just how good of a player you are, but it comes with monetary benefits as well.
Calhoun was so close to reaching ten years of service this season, but didn't have a big league opportunity waiting for him. He had to fight his way back up to the majors after his disappointing 2022 season. For him, this meant playing in the minors for both the Yankees and Dodgers organizations this season.
He had a .906 OPS in 58 AAA games this season before Calhoun finally got his shot. He was traded to the Guardians in August for cash as they attempted to catch the Twins in the AL Central. They failed to do so, but Calhoun did reach his goal. The future is very up in the air as his numbers in Cleveland weren't the greatest, but Calhoun fighting to reach his goal is something every Angels fan can appreciate.