When the Texas Rangers get to Surprise, Ariz. to begin Spring Training, they will be seeing many new faces. Rangers fans are more familiar with some of the new faces than others. Most fans know all about new first baseman Prince Fielder and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, but those are not the only new additions to the Rangers. One of the newest Rangers is outfielder Michael Choice.
Choice may be new to the Rangers, but he is not new to Arlington, Tex. Choice was born in Grand Prairie, Tex. and attended High School at Mansfield Timberview in Arlington. Choice went on to play his college ball at University of Texas at Arlington. As a junior at UTA, he was named a first team All-American outfielder.
In the 2010 MLB Draft, Choice was selected by the Oakland A’s with the No. 10 pick in the first round. In three minor league seasons with Oakland, Choice hit 50 home runs and had 204 RBIs. He made his Major League debut in September of last season but only played in a few games.
The Rangers acquired Choice from Oakland in December in a trade. The Rangers traded outfielder Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom to the A’s in exchange for Choice and infielder Chris Bostick. While the Rangers thought highly of Gentry, they felt Choice had more upside potential.
As far as Choice’s role on the 2014 Rangers, it is still up in the air. Texas has a set starting outfield of Alex Rios, Leonys Martin and Shin-Soo Choo. Texas could use Choice as their fourth outfielder and possibly split playing time with Mitch Moreland at DH. They could also decide the best thing for Choice is to play every day, which would mean sending him to the Minors to get more experience.
The better Choice plays during Spring Training, the harder the decision becomes for Ron Washington and the Texas coaching staff. Whatever happens, it should be fun for Rangers fans to catch a glimpse of a player who could possibly be a future mainstay in the Texas outfield.