Willie Calhoun benched in Triple-A for not running out a ground ball

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Willie Calhoun is the Texas Rangers’ top prospect and one of the more well-regarded hitting prospects in baseball. It would seem, however, that we still have some time before we’ll see him in the big leagues on a permanent basis. At least based on what happened over the weekend.

Calhoun was pulled from a game at Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday for failing to run hard on a grounder. Later, Rangers big league manager Jeff Banister said this in response: “Play hard … run down the line hard. It’s the effort you’re giving your teammates. Once the bat leaves your hands, you’re working for your teammates. That’s the identity you want to have in your organization.” So, yes, it sounds like the whole organization is on board with that benching.

As it is, Calhoun, who had a cup of coffee with the Rangers after coming over from the Dodgers organization in the Yu Darvish trade, has been underwhelming in the minors this year, hitting .270/.332/.393 and four homers through 51 games. It’s suspected he’ll always be a defensive liability, but the Rangers had earlier said they’d give him time to work on that at the big league level. Given that the Rangers aren’t really going anywhere this year, they may be content to let him work on it in Round Rock.