What to expect from the Dutchies this year? Calten Daal

With Spring Training in full swing it is time to see how the players from the Kingdom of the Netherlands will do in the upcoming season. Of course there is no crystal ball and it is still up in the air, but in general you can make a decent prediction based on the performance of previous years.

Calten Daal with the Daytona Tortugas (photo: Redsminorleagues.com)

Calten Daal was signed as an international free agent after the 2012 season. Calten started his pro career with the AZL Reds in 2013 and was promoted to the Billings Mustangs later in the season. The next year he skipped A Short Season  and played all season for the Dayton Dragons. In his first professional year he struggled at the plate as he only hit a combined .200. But the next year with the Dragons his average hovered around .3oo for most of the season, only to dip to .296 in the final weeks. On the defensive side, he did not do so well as he committed a Midwest League leading 39 errors.

Nevertheless he was promoted to the Daytona Tortugas (A Advanced Florida State League). With the Tortugas he did not hit as well as with the Dragons, but he still managed to hit a respectable .270. Calten split the season between second base (59 games) and shortstop (53 games). At short he committed 10 errors and at second he committed 12.

During a press conference that advanced the Premier 12 tournament in 2015, Dutch team manager Hensley Meulens explained that it isn’t always what it seems. Many of the errors that Calten committed, can be explained due to the state of the playing surfaces in the minors.

With the Premier 12 tournament, Calten did very well for team Kingdom of the Netherlands. Thanks to his performance during the tournament, he was elected into the All-World team as best shortstop.

Calten Daal with the Dayton Dragons in 2014 (photo: Redsminorleagues.com)

So what can we expect from the 22-year old Curacao native?
Apparently the Reds have some faith in Daal as they invited him to MLB Spring Training Camp. Even though it is not to expect that he will clinch a roster spot this year. But participating in this year’s Spring Training is a magnificent opportunity to learn from the big boys. So far he has played two games, one at shortstop and one at second base. In yesterday’s game at second base, he tried to get a ground ball that was hit far to his left.

He made an ultimate attempt but could not field the ball clearly. But it shows that he has a decent reach. He also got his first hit of the Spring Training.
Don’t expect Calten to make the MLB roster of the Reds this year. It is very likely that Calten will start the season at AA Pensacola of the Southern League. Perhaps if he can keep pace with the level at AA he may be called up near the end of the season.

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