Kole Calhoun was headed to Double-A. That is, he was ticketed for Arkansas until tearing up spring training.
The natural progression for the L.A. Angels’ eighth-round selection of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft took a detour to Salt Lake City. So far, the plan has worked for the left-handed former Arizona State Sun Devil.
“I’m just playing baseball, backyard ball,” said Calhoun, who continues to hover around .300 for Salt Lake. “It’s a huge jump. The level of baseball from high A to Triple-A, there’s a wide gap there.”
It’s all about the daily adjustment. Thursday at Spring Mobile Ballpark, Calhoun doubled and scored the tying run as the Bees scored four in the eighth to grab their second straight come-from-behind victory, 5-3. The night before, Calhoun was smack in the middle of the Bees’ five-run 9th-inning comeback victory.
At first, despite having a great spring training with the Angels — hitting .361 — the 24-year-old outfielder from Buckeye, Ariz., experienced a bit of a slow start with Salt Lake.
But during Calhoun’s fourth game in, he collected a pair of hits, including his first homer, and three RBIs.
“I’ve had a lot of guys around me who have kind of helped me, kind of baby-sat me,” Calhoun said. “I’m going in blind, and I’m taking everything I can from those guys and translating it to my game.”
Undrafted after high school, Calhoun took his talents to Yavapai Junior College and, in 2009, to Arizona State. During the 2009 College World Series, Calhoun was 9-for-16 with a grand slam.
In 2010, Calhoun paced the Pac-10 with 64 walks. He’s shown flashes of that plate discipline in 2012.
“The pitching [between Single-A and Triple-A] is the biggest difference,” Calhoun said. “Here you have guys who can do anything they want whenever they want.
“I’ve faced guys who have been in pro ball for 10, 12 years. Here I am in my third year.”
Bees 5,Express 3
R Salt Lake starter Eric Hurley allows just two earned runs and six hits in 71⁄3 innings.
• Salt Lake scores four runs, three of which are unearned, in an eighth-inning rally.
• The Round Rock infield commits three errors, two in the eighth inning.