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2022 in review: Kole Calhoun

A disappointing campaign in what may have been Kole Calhoun’s final major league season

Texas Rangers v Houston Astros Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

With the 2022 regular season over, it is that time for us to go back and take a look at the players who appeared for the Texas Rangers this season.

Today, we look at outfielder Kole Calhoun.

The Rangers signed Kole Calhoun on a one year deal for the 2022 season hoping for a bounceback season, after he was essentially replacement level in 51 games for Arizona in 2021.

He did not, in fact, bounce back. To the contrary. So you know in the Roadrunner cartoons, when the coyote falls from way up high and hits the ground and then there’s a big coyote shaped hole in the ground going down into the earth that the coyote ends up climbing out of? That was Kole Calhoun’s 2022 season.

What is kind of funny though is that he was great for a short period of time. Here is his OPS by month in 2022:

April — 375

May — 1013

June — 558

July — 497

August — 394

Sept/Oct — 310

Its like he had a reverse Semien.

Calhoun had actually been good in 2020, putting up an 864 OPS in the COVID season for Arizona, and had a 1.6 bWAR and a 792 OPS in 152 games for the Angels in 2019. You can see why one might think that he might rebound in 2022 after his bad 2021.

But Father Time is undefeated, and he beat the shit out of Calhoun in 2022.

Calhoun is seen as a good clubhouse guy, and his presence was part of the reason that the Rangers kept him on the roster all season long. He was described by Chris Woodward early in the season as an “energy guy,” someone who is outgoing and keeps his teammates up.

Calhoun is a neat story, a guy who was an eighth round pick out of Arizona State in 2010, who got a paltry signing bonus ($36,000) and was described by Baseball America at the time as an “overachiever” who was “maxed-out physically and won’t hit for enough power ot play a corner outfield spot in the big leagues.” He was a guy who profiled as organizational depth, someone whose good attitude and positive demeanor would make him a nice roster addition on minor league teams but wasn’t going to be a real prospect.

But Calhoun made it to the bigs anyway. In their write-up on him as the Angels’ #11 prospect for 2013, they described him as a leader with outstanding makeup, someone who got the most out of his “uninspiring” tools. Calhoun has now spent parts of eleven seasons in the majors, been a regular for almost a decade, picked up career hit #1000 in 2022, and made almost $50 million in his career.

At the age of 35, if Calhoun wants to keep playing, he’ll likely be able to get a minor league deal, a spring training invite. There’s a very good chance his major league career is over, though. If it is, hats off to Calhoun for overcoming the odds and carving out a very nice career.


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