Kole Calhoun
Kole Calhoun
33-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Arizona Diamondbacks
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Only six hitters in baseball had more homers than Calhoun's 16 last season. That total was buoyed by a career-high 28.6% HR/FB after he'd previously topped out at 22.9% in 2019, his final year with the Angels. Calhoun reached 30 HR for the first time in that infamous juiced-ball season after finishing in the high teens the three seasons prior (2016-18). He remained a batting average drain in 2020, hitting in the low .200s again even with a 21.9 K%, and a career-high pull rate approaching 60% paints a grim picture for his BA moving forward. Fortunately for Calhoun, he can still take his walks (12.3 BB% last season), and that skill should help prop him up as he pushes into his mid-30s. Calhoun is not a strict platoon player, but expect the Diamondbacks to sit him here or there against tough lefties while batting him anywhere from first to fifth versus RHP. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#353
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Diamondbacks in December of 2019. Contract includes $9 million team option ($2 million buyout) for 2022.
Knocks in two in debut
OFArizona Diamondbacks
April 10, 2021
Calhoun started in right field, batted second and went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI in Friday's 6-5 extra-inning loss to the Reds.
ANALYSIS
Calhoun was reinstated off the injured list Friday after rehabbing a torn meniscus, for which he underwent a medial meniscectomy early in March. He played his familiar position of right field and was part of a three-run seventh inning, doubling in a pair of runs as part of a furious Arizona comeback. He could also be used in center field while Ketel Marte rehabs a hamstring injury.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
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2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+13%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
-100%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+27%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .738 240 30 13 37 1 .210 .304 .433
Since 2019vs Right .833 616 96 35 76 4 .236 .336 .497
2021vs Left 1.500 2 0 0 2 0 .500 .500 1.000
2021vs Right .000 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2020vs Left .707 49 7 3 8 0 .186 .265 .442
2020vs Right .896 171 27 12 29 1 .230 .357 .540
2019vs Left .736 189 23 10 27 1 .212 .312 .424
2019vs Right .816 442 69 23 47 3 .240 .330 .486
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+12%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
-100%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+18%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .759 417 62 22 58 3 .202 .309 .449
Since 2019Away .849 442 64 26 55 2 .254 .344 .505
2021Home .600 5 0 0 2 0 .200 .200 .400
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home .773 101 17 6 18 0 .190 .297 .476
2020Away .913 122 17 9 19 1 .248 .369 .545
2019Home .757 311 45 16 38 3 .206 .315 .442
2019Away .826 320 47 17 36 1 .256 .334 .491
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kole Calhoun
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
After three straight seasons of home-run totals in the high teens, Calhoun broke through with a career-high 33 long balls in 2019. The improvement can be attributed to a pair of changes in his approach -- an increase in average launch angle (from 12.0 degrees in 2018 to 14.7 degrees in 2019) and a pull rate (47.4%) that ranked 10th among qualified hitters. Unfortunately, the increased power output was accompanied by a career-high strikeout rate (25.6%) and a tepid .232 batting average, keeping Calhoun on the waiver wire in some mixed leagues. The 32-year-old does walk at a steady rate (11.1 BB%), but that's more of a real-life asset than a fantasy one. Calhoun's age and Statcast numbers suggest that he has neared the peak of his power potential, so he'll need to raise his batting average to a respectable level to be a net positive fantasy option after signing a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks.
When the Angels announced they were lowering the home-run line on their right-field fence, the lefty-hitting Calhoun became an intriguing sleeper. Those who took the plunge were rewarded with one of baseball's worst hitters before an oblique injury sidelined him in June. During the absence, Calhoun revised his batting stance, switching to a crouch that loosened up his swing and gave him more of an uppercut plane, and he went on to unleash a 10-homer July. Calhoun should've been much better on the whole. Per Statcast, he carried the second-greatest (ie, unluckiest) negative differential between wOBA (.283) and xwOBA (.334), and the third-greatest negative differential between BA (.208) and xBA (.252). He slugged 16 of his 19 homers against righties, and Calhoun's plodding foot speed doesn't portend more stolen bases. Still, the 31-year-old's career OBP and useful defense will help his playing time.
Calhoun narrowly missed the 20-homer plateau in 2017, despite playing in at least 155 games for the third consecutive season. For the first time since he became a big-league regular in 2013, Calhoun's slugging percentage dipped below .400, while his batting average bottomed out at .244. Underneath those numbers is a hard-hit rate that fell from 35.3 percent in 2016 to 31.7 percent in 2017, along with the highest pull rate of his career (44.7 percent) and more groundballs than ever (43.9 percent). Ultimately, there were a few downturns, but nothing so precipitous to think that he can't return to a line closer to his career mark (.261/.330/.426) this season. The home-run total may never match the 26 he hit back in 2015, but Calhoun does a little bit of everything in a quietly improving Angels lineup with a nice amount of job security, which should make him a top-75 outfielder again in 2018.
Overall, Calhoun displayed significant improvement, especially with respect to plate skills as he recorded a career-high walk rate in tandem with his lowest strikeout rate as a major leaguer. The power was there as evidenced by career marks in doubles and triples; Calhoun just didn't follow league trends with respect to increased homers. Flyball distance is a leading indicator for homers, and in 2014, Calhoun hit 17 homers with an average of 281 feet per fly. The following season he smacked 24 homers with an average flyball distance of 305 feet. Last year he split the distance, averaging 292 feet with only 18 homers. This forecasts a home run total in the low twenties, which bodes well for 2017, especially if Calhoun maintains most or all of his plate skill gains. Calhoun adds value with his durability as he's missed only eight games over the past two seasons. He's a solid, stabilizing force in any fantasy outfield.
The stars seemed aligned for a big fantasy season from Calhoun in 2015. He was going to hit at the top third of a projected potent lineup and some were projecting 100 runs and a top-50 performance by season’s end. Oops. Calhoun was in the lineup every day, but the extra exposure to lefties dragged his numbers down. He hit .220/.293/.370 with a 26 percent K-rate against lefties versus .272/.316/.447 with a 23 percent K-rate against righties. Eighteen of his 26 homers came against righties and despite the extra 150 plate appearances, he scored 12 fewer runs than the season before. Calhoun had plenty of lineup protection behind him in Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but the leadoff spot was a problem all year long for the Angels. Yunel Escobar (career .350 OBP) figures to occupy that spot to start 2016, so that should represent a tangible upgrade. Calhoun’s defense keeps him in the lineup every day, but that will also hurt his batting average.
Expectations were high for Calhoun's first full season as an everyday player, as many saw the potential for a multi-category contributor after he was given an opportunity to succeed in the leadoff spot. An ankle injury suffered in mid-April while he was running down the first-base line sidelined Calhoun for more than a month, but he still settled in atop the Angels' lineup as the season unfolded. Heralded in 2013 for his ability to capably handle lefties, Calhoun hit .252/.322/.388 against them last season, prompting a platoon with Collin Cowgill in right field for part of the season. Limited to 127 games, Calhoun still hit 17 home runs and showed power similar to his rookie campaign, but he only attempted eight steals last season, perhaps due to the aforementioned ankle injury. Even if he loses time against left-handed pitching, Calhoun should have a prominent place in a very strong Angels lineup on the larger side of a platoon in right field.
After slugging a Ruthian-like .617 in 59 games at Triple-A Salt Lake in 2013, Calhoun was promoted to the big club late in July, when it was determined that Albert Pujols would likely spend the rest of the season on the disabled list. Calhoun took full advantage of the opportunity, as he slugged .482 and got on base at a .343 clip in 99 PA in August. With the Angels moving Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals in November, Calhoun is a serious contender for a regular spot in the outfield, likely in right field. While he does not offer a standout tool, Calhoun does everything reasonably well and could benefit from the talent in the lineup around him, especially if Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton can rebound.
Calhoun spent most of the 2012 season with Triple-A Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League, batting .298/.369/.507 with 14 home runs and 12 steals in 463 plate appearances. As always, you'll want to take offensive numbers from the PCL with a grain of salt, although that doesn't change the fact that Calhoun's bat looks like the real deal. He could open the year as the Angels' fourth or fifth outfielder, but it will probably make more sense for the organization to let him continue his development with regular playing time at the Triple-A level.
More Fantasy News
Reinstated from IL
OFArizona Diamondbacks
April 9, 2021
Calhoun (knee) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list ahead of Friday's game against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Plays in intrasquad game
OFArizona Diamondbacks
Knee
April 9, 2021
Calhoun (knee) took four at-bats in an intrasquad game Wednesday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
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Playing full-speed defense
OFArizona Diamondbacks
Knee
April 6, 2021
Calhoun (knee) will play 3-to-5 innings of full-speed defense Tuesday, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports.
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Running bases
OFArizona Diamondbacks
Knee
April 3, 2021
Calhoun (knee) ran the bases Friday and was scheduled to get six at-bats in a backfield game at the Diamondbacks' spring training site, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
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Placed on injured list
OFArizona Diamondbacks
Knee
April 1, 2021
Calhoun (knee) was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday.
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