Former Yavapai star Willie Calhoun settles in with Texas Rangers | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Former Yavapai star Willie Calhoun settles in with Texas Rangers | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Texas Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun heads out of the dugout for the fourth inning Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Willie Calhoun’s short roller-coaster ride to the Majors incorporated the usual mix of highs and lows. And yet, the former Yavapai College slugger extraordinaire this week landed firmly on the ground as a starting left fielder for the Texas Rangers after only two years in pro ball.

Before receiving a surprise call-up to the Rangers on Monday, the 5-foot-8, 187-pound Calhoun of Vallejo, California, was working out in Phoenix because his Triple-A season at Round Rock, Texas, had ended.

“It’s been really exciting – just ever since I left Yavapai, it’s been really great,” Calhoun said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “Everything that’s happened since then has been great, and I’m really happy to be here.”

Yavapai coach Ryan Cougill, who speaks with Calhoun about once a month, said Calhoun phoned him early Wednesday morning after his Rangers debut Tuesday. Calhoun, who laced an RBI single in his first at-bat with his mom and dad, uncle, cousin and girlfriend cheering him on in the stands at Globe Life Park in Arlington, told Cougill he should start most games for the Rangers as the 2017 season ends. Texas stood four games out of the American League Wild Card race heading into Thursday’s game against the Seattle Mariners.

“It was pretty unreal,” Calhoun said of his first major-league hit. “Just having my family here was huge for me, and for…

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