Angels Hit The Accelerator With Calhoun
LOS ANGELES—After batting .324/.410/.547 for high Class A Inland Empire last season, outfielder Kole Calhoun figured to take a step up in the Angels farm system. Instead, he made a jump.
The Angels moved Calhoun past Double-A and assigned him to Triple-A Salt Lake to start the season. Calhoun quickly made himself comfortable, going 10-for-33 (.303) with seven extra-base hits (five doubles, a triple and a home run) in his first eight games for the Bees.
General manager Jerry Dipoto said Calhoun had already shown he could handle advanced college competition at Arizona State, where he was an eighth-round pick in 2010, and it wasn't surprising that he had excelled in the Cal League as a 24-year-old.
"You want to get guys at the proper level for their age group," Dipoto said. "What we're trying to do with Kole is just get him back online from an age perspective in a league we believe he can handle.
"You don't want to just take 24-year-olds and throw them in Triple-A because they're 24," he said. "He's a good player. He has polished skills."
With top prospect Mike Trout limited by a viral infection and then shoulder issues, there was plenty of playing time for Calhoun in his first major league spring training. He made the most of it, batting .354 (17-for-48) with seven doubles and six RBIs. Dipoto called it "a fantastic spring," and he certainly caught the attention of the Angels' decision-makers.
"Loved him," said Dipoto, who had seen the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Calhoun at Arizona State while working for the Diamondbacks. "Kole's skill set is very well-rounded. There's no one dynamic tool. But he's a very appealing player in that . . . anything you line up on the field, he does it well."
• Righthander Fabio Martinez has been sidelined by health issues again. The hard-throwing Dominican Republic native broke his foot last season and the Angels were hopeful he had recovered fully. He pitched in spring training but experienced growing discomfort in the foot due to a screw that was inserted following the injury last summer. Martinez had surgery to have the screw removed.
• Trout got off to a .383/.426/.550 start in 60 at-bats with Salt Lake after shoulder tendinitis and the viral infection weakened him early in spring training.