Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers in right field, which is locked down by veteran Shin-Soo Choo, who is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing, injury-filled 2014 while switching from left field to his more natural corner outfield spot in right.
Choo: 560 plate appearances, 23 doubles, 2 triples, 14 home runs, 46 RBIs, .260 batting average, .372 on-base percentage, .406 slugging percentage, 11 stolen bases
Choo was dynamite for the first month and a half of the 2014 season — his first with the Rangers — getting on base at a league-leading clip and looking to be worth every penny of the nine-figure contract the Rangers forked over to him in free agency last winter. Then, the wheels flew off, beginning with a rolled ankle in Oakland that forced him to miss a week. He managed to avoid the disabled list for a few months, playing out of dedication to his team and a desire to earn his money, but all he did was continue to flounder and decline.
Now reportedly healthy, the Rangers really need Choo to be what he was for that first month and a half and what he was with the Reds before that, which was an on-base machine. Second only to a rebound from Prince Fielder, the Rangers' success in 2015 rides heavily on Choo's shoulders.