Back when the Rangers were good, it seemed a different player stepped up every day. One day it was Beltre. Then Kinsler. Josh Hamilton. Or Mitch Moreland. Of course, there was always Michael Young.
The Rangers are a long long long way from having the depth of talent they once had. So they have to settle for guys like Adolis Garcia, Nathanial Lowe, light-hitting Corey Seager on occassion. Every once in a while, Marcus Semien.
Last night it was Kole Calhoun. Signed in the offseason to a one-year deal with a club option for 2023, Calhoun has been a steady presence in the Rangers lineup. His 104 OPS+ says that he’s pretty much average when it comes to production. But average offense is better than the Rangers have gotten out of many players. Marcus Semien, Brad Miller, Mitch Garver, Charlie Culberson, all are carrying around an OPS+ less than 100.
There’s a lot of below average on this team.
Calhoun stepped up against the N.L. East-leading New York Mets yesterday with two home runs and four runs batted in, the difference in a 7-3 Rangers victory.
The 34-year-old veteran outfielder has a career OPS+ of 105. He had some really productive seasons with the Angels, the team he came up with and played eight seasons for. His best season was 2015, when he hit 26 home runs and drove in 83. He had a pretty good 2020 as well with Arizona, posting his career-best OPS of .864.
Calhoun is the kind of veteran that can really help a contending team, which the Rangers are not this year. Don’t be surprised if a number of teams come calling for Calhoun at the trade deadline.
As he showed last night, and really throughout the season, he can win you some games.