Willie Calhoun is pegged the second baseman of the future in the Dodgers organization, but rumors of a major trade have muddied those waters. The Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett interviewed Calhoun about the challenges facing his journey to the MLB.
Calhoun is coming off a campaign in which he earned a spot in the All-Star Futures Game and an MVP in the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game, as Plunkett notes. After completing his first full year in Double-A, Calhoun said he is aware of his weaknesses; specifically, his defensive deficiencies.
“I see it a lot,” Calhoun told Plunkett. “I know I still have a lot of work to do and that’s something I’m still attacking this offseason … It’s motivating. I’ve always had to overcome something in my part of the game since I was a senior in high school. I’ve always been told I’m too small and everything. Just being able to overcome those types of things is something that I’m going to have to keep on doing.”
— Trevor Oaks (@trevoaks) December 15, 2016
Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi admitted Calhoun would be better served with more seasoning, though he did say the Major League team has found roles for youngsters, and they are “excited” about Calhoun’s progress. He said we’ll see how things play out in spring training.
I'll be ready LA ??? https://t.co/9es78XZdxp
— June Calhoun (@11WillieCalhoun) December 16, 2016
Even if Calhoun was ready, he presents another problem: left-handed batting. The Dodgers’ hole at second is a perfect means to bring in a righty, putting Calhoun at a disadvantage already.
Zaidi previously mentioned internal candidates for second, but the Brian Dozier rumors are getting louder. Dozier wouldn’t necessarily spell an end for the 22-year-old in L.A. His contract expires in two seasons and/or Calhoun could be shifted to the outfield.
More from Plunkett on Calhoun can be read here.