Barring some unforeseen circumstances, it seems likely that Arlington native and former UTA standout Michael Choice will begin the 2014 season on the big-league roster for the Texas Rangers.
After coming to Texas this winter via a trade from Oakland for fan-favorite Craig Gentry, Choice was seen as a guy with a higher upside than Gentry but maybe not ready to contribute at the big-league level before some more work in the minors. Now, it appears that mindset has changed.
Choice should start the season in Arlington after a great spring. So far, with two weeks until Opening Day, Choice is hitting .389 with a .405 on-base percentage, two homers, three doubles and a triple. He appears confident in being able to handle the fourth outfielder role Gentry occupied last year before eventually supplanting David Murphy as an everyday starter. He will also likely serve as a DH against left-handed starters.
“I’m a big boy,” the 24-year-old Choice told the Star-Telegram. “I’ve played at literally every single level you can possibly play at. What I do every day is I come to the field and work on my craft. I don’t think how many ABs I get will affect performance by any means because when you prepare properly, you know you’ve done everything you can to be successful.”
The argument could be made Choice would be better off going to the minors and playing every day, but he seems to think he can handle the role of coming off the bench and getting a couple of starts a week — a role we saw then-20-year-old Jurickson Profar struggle in last season.