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Bonkers for Willie!

The June 2016 provided us with lots of fun new prospects to enjoy, including quite a few shortstops. We all know about those tasty first-rounders (Dansby Swanson, Brendan Rogers, etc.), but the best pure hitter from this draft may very well have been selected in the 4th round!

Second-baseman Willie Calhoun, the 4th round pick for the LA Dodgers, can hit. Actually, I'm understating it. He can HIT! Sure, he's a bit undersized, and not as athletic as guys picked ahead of him, and there is a question of whether he can stay at 2B in the majors...

But... he can really, REALLY hit!

Since Willie is only 20 years old, the Dodgers started him out in the Pioneer League (Rookie ball), and he destroyed the competition by compiling a .371 OBP and a .517 SLG while striking out only 18 times in 151 at bats. The Dodgers, suitably impressed, decided to promote him to their Low-A team in Great Lakes. Willie made a mockery of this league by hitting .393 so the Dodgers, wanting to teach this kid a lesson in humility finally promoted Willie to their Hi-A team in Rancho Cucamonga. But Willie thumbed his nose at the Dodgers brass and proceeded to lay waste to the competition, hitting .329 with a .393 OBP and .548 SLG. I'm sorry, but 20 year-olds fresh out of junior college just do not do this... unless they are special bats.

At some point next season, Willie Calhoun will be promoted to double-A and that will be very revealing on how special a bat he truly is. However, there is a reasonably good chance he will succeed there. His strikeout rate is quite low, and his bat control is clearly exceptional. Think Jose Altuve without the speed! Yes, there will be many tests ahead, but he really has a chance to meet that lofty height.

Grab him now while you can!

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