Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Kole Calhoun
Kole Calhoun of the Los Angeles Angels stands to benefit from his team engaging in the offseason trade market as the Halos traded Peter Bourjos to the St. Louis Cardinals and sent Mark Trumbo to the Arizona Diamondbacks. All signs are now pointing towards Calhoun being their everyday right fielder in 2014.
In 222 plate appearances in 2013, Calhoun posted a .282 batting average to go with eight home runs, 29 runs, 32 RBIs and two steals. The 26-year old had an above-average 9.5 percent walk rate and a below-average 18.5 percent strikeout rate. In 1,578 career minor league at-bats, he has an 11.9 percent walk rate and a 16.5 percent strikeout rate.
In addition to excellent plate discipline in the minors, the young outfielder has also consistently shown the ability to hit for power as well as some speed throughout his minor league career. In 594 high-A plate appearances in 2011, Calhoun hit 22 home runs, had a .223 ISO and stole 24 bases. In 463 triple-A plate appearances in 2012, he hit 14 home runs, had a .210 ISO and stole 12 bases. Prior to getting the call-up in 2013, he had 12 home runs, a .263 ISO and 10 steals in just 274 plate appearances.
I have Calhoun projected to hit 17 home runs and steal 13 bases to go along with 70 runs, 68 RBIs and a .270 batting average in 490 at-bats this upcoming season. I have him ranked as the 47th ranked outfielder ahead of Jayson Werth, Austin Jackson and Carl Crawford. Calhoun could pay dividends for owners who make the investment in 2014.