OAKLAND,Calif. (May 23, 2012) -- Former Eau Claire Express outfielder Kole Calhoun is scheduled to make his first Major League Baseball start Wednesday for the Los Angeles Angels. Calhoun made his Major League Baseball debut Tuesday when he was used as a defensive replacement in right field in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Los Angeles Angels against the Oakland Athletics. Calhoun was called up on Monday after starting the season in Triple-A Salt Lake where he hit .296 with five home runs and 31 RBI in 43 games for the Bees.
Calhoun played with Eau Claire from 2007-2009. The Angels drafted Calhoun in the eighth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft out of Arizona State. In the last 12 months, Calhoun has worked through three levels in minor league baseball. Last season, Calhoun was namedthe Angels’ Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .324 with 22 homeruns and 99 RBI for the Angels’ Class A affiliate, Inland Empire.
In 2007, Kole finished his first season in the Northwoods League with a .274 BA, five home runs and 29 RBI while appearing in 66 games for the Express. He also finished 2007 with a pitching record of 3-0 to go along with his 0.38 ERA in 24 innings pitched. Calhoun allowed just six hits and one earned run in those 24 innings.
Calhoun was named to the Northwoods League All-Star Team in 2007 and was named co-MVP of the league. He currently holds three Eau Claire Express single-season records. In 2007 Calhoun hit an Eau Claire single-season record 57 runs, 19 doubles and recorded a the team single-season record for saves with 14. In his three years in the Northwoods League, Calhoun set two career-batting records in Eau Claire Express history with 70 career RBI and 41 doubles as well as setting Eau Claire’s career saves record of 24.
Calhoun becomes just the second former Eau Claire Express member to play in the Major Leagues, joining his Express teammate and current Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann as the only other active Express alum. Calhoun is the 90th Northwoods League alum to make it to the big leagues and the 32nd to appear in a game in 2012.
The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The League has 16 teams in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and Ontario. Opening night 2012 is Wednesday, May 30.