Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Inside the frenzied 12 minutes that led to the Dodgers' deal for Yu Darvish"

A few days earlier, the Rangers insisted a deal for Darvish include one of Los Angeles’ two best prospects, pitcher Walker Buehler or outfielder Alex Verdugo. The Dodgers refused to consider either, a position on which they held firm in all offers. Texas eventually softened its stance and considered a deal around Willie Calhoun, one of the most unique prospects in years.

Calhoun is listed at 5-foot-8 and 187 pounds. He is neither. Shave off an inch or two, add 25 pounds or so, and that is Calhoun. He is listed as a second baseman. He is not that, either. Best-case scenario, Calhoun sticks in left field. And should that not work, he would wind up at designated hitter, which was incompatible with the Dodgers but might be a palatable-enough fallback option for the Rangers, because even they can’t deny one truth about Calhoun: He can hit. And not a for-his-size hit or a may-grow-into-something hit. Calhoun can hit now, he will hit in the major leagues soon and he will keep hitting there for a long time.

Both Dodgers and Rangers analysts agreed: Calhoun’s combination of power and contact is rare and elite for a 22-year-old already at Triple-A. Combine that with his body, and he is a true outlier, one of one, the sort who confounds those who compile prospect lists