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Ben Badler on Leody Taveras, Willie Calhoun

Ben Badler’s latest Hot Sheet chat at BA includes stuff on Rangers prospects Leody Taveras and Willie Calhoun

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Texas Rangers prospects Leody Taveras and Willie Calhoun were among the topics covered by Baseball America’s Ben Badler in his latest chat session today. Badler had praise for both players, who are both in Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list, with Calhoun coming in at #32 and Leody at #52.

Calhoun, as we all know, started the 2018 season at AAA to work on his defense and baserunning despite thoughts from some that his bat was good enough to be in the majors to start the year. Calhoun, who moved from second base to left field less than a year ago, has played exclusively left field and DH this year, and after a slow start to the season, has put up a .320/.354/.440 slash line in the month of May. Ronald Guzman playing first base in the majors has Joey Gallo play left field every day, and so there isn’t a spot for Calhoun to get every day at bats, but he will almost certainly be in the majors at some point this year.

Taveras, meanwhile, won’t be in the majors in 2018, but as is noted in the chat session, he doesn’t turn 20 until September and is having a solid year for Down East in the high-A Carolina League, putting up a .276/.362/.399 slash line in 187 plate appearances. Perhaps most promising, Taveras has 22 walks against 34 strikeouts in 187 plate appearances, a significant jump in his walk rate compared to 2017. Taveras is still at least a couple of years away, but continued growth both with the bat and the glove (he’s a true center fielder who was named the team’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Month for April) could land him in Frisco before the year is up.