Willie Calhoun

Akshita Patel

This Yankees Non Roster Invitee Is Making A Strong Case To Fit In Final 26-Man Roster

A minor league outfielder associated with the New York Yankees is building up a strong case to enter the final roster for this season.

The New York Yankees prepare to enter the 2023 MLB season opening day in two weeks. They are scheduled to face century-old rivals, San Francisco Giants, in the season opener. However, the Bombers have yet to reach a consensus on the final 26-man roster candidates. This spring training, many prospects and non-roster invitees impressed the scouts and coaching staff with quality talent and performance.


Hence, the Yankees will face the daunting task of stacking the perfect 26-man roster. Barring the few regular names, the team intends to include a few non-roster invitees associated with the minor league. However, they already sent their top spring training performer, Jasson Dominguez, back to the minor camp. Hence, the thinking tank of the Yanks seems to be facing some sort of tough dilemma. Meanwhile, this outfielder is quietly making a solid resume to get that spot on the final roster.

Can Willie Calhoun Resolve The Yankees Left Field Woes?

Willie Calhoun
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Willie Calhoun, the left-handed hitting outfielder, has long been considered a promising prospect in the baseball world. He was initially drafted by the Dodgers in the 2015 MLB Draft. However, it wasn’t until his trade to the Texas Rangers in 2017 that he truly began to make a name for himself. In his first full season with the Rangers in 2019, Calhoun hit .269 with 21 home runs and 48 RBI in just 83 games. However, his career graph showed a steep decline thereafter due to persistent injury concerns.

Enter the New York Yankees. In December of 2022, they acquired Willie Calhoun via the free agent market. At the time, the move was largely viewed as a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the Yankees. Calhoun was still just 27 years old, had shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and came at a relatively cheap cost. As a result, he received a call-up as a non-roster invitee to try a hand at spring training this season. So far, he had 30 at-bats wherein he hit 4 runs, 1 homer, and 3 RBIs in total. While the numbers certainly do not reflect his full potential, the Bombers’ front office looks impressed enough to consider him part of the final 26-man roster.

Calhoun Displays All Round Performance In Spring Training

Yankees' Willie Calhoun takes batting practice for the Yankees. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Yankees’ Willie Calhoun takes batting practice for the Yankees. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Willie Calhoun continues to make a strong impact in the ongoing spring training. During Saturday’s matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays, he started in the left field, the most highlighted position of this spring training campaign. With the bat, he hit a double in the right field and recorded an average of .367.

Further, the outfielder did a commendable job in the field. He caught a long ball in the left and delivered a strong throw, saving a third run. With the left field job at stake, the outfielder looks determined to make all efforts and make the most of every provided opportunity. With enough consistency, Calhoun could very well replace Aaron Hicks in the left field in the later half of the tournament.