Boys fantasize about playing alongside big league All-Stars.
Still, considering how 2012 has gone so far for Salt Lake outfielder Kole Calhoun, the Triple-A All-Star Game will work just fine.
"It's been a roller-coaster year, but it's been fun going through the process," said Calhoun from his hotel room in Buffalo, N.Y., not far from Coca-Cola Field, site of this year's event, which pits the PCL against the International League. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. MDT Wednesday and will be broadcast live on MLB Network.
Calhoun, a 24-year-old native of Buckeye, Ariz., skipped Double-A this season, going directly to the Bees. Then, on May 22, Calhoun first stepped on a major league ball field for the Los Angeles Angels as a defensive replacement for Mark Trumbo.
The next day, Calhoun ripped a double off of Oakland pitcher Jarrod Parker. His week with the Angels included three hits (a .250 batting average) and a stolen base.
His goals have certainly changed since the start of the season.
"My expectations have skyrocketed since spring training," Calhoun said. "My goals, well, I didn't know what was going to happen. I just wanted the team to do well."
Calhoun, the Angels organization's Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 at Inland Empire, has hovered around the .300 mark for Salt Lake. He is slugging .522.
Remaining consistent is the key to Calhoun's future.
"Consistent each day," Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. "Guys like Kole … they have to learn to be consistent on a nightly basis."
Calhoun was originally selected by the Angels in the eighth round of the 2010 Amateur Draft from Arizona State. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound left-handed batter spent the 2010 season with the Orem Owlz, hitting .292 with seven home runs and 42 runs batted in.
Last season at Single-A, Calhoun drove in 99 runs in 133 games.
"All-Star games don't come around a lot," Calhoun said. "It's nice to be recognized. I'm happy to be here, and having a couple days off will be nice, too."
He is the PCL's representative from Salt Lake for the Triple-A All-Star Game scheduled for 5 p.m. MDT Wednesday on MLB Network.
Went from Single-A in 2011 to Triple-A this season, as well as making his major league debut for the Los Angeles Angels in May.
He was the Angels Minor League Player of the Year in 2011.
Triple-A All-Star Game
P PCL vs. International League Wednesday, 5 p.m.
TV • MLB Network