With the season a few months away, what has to break right for the Rangers to contend again in 2015?
What if Shin-Soo Choo can put together six months in 2015 like his first month of the 2014 season? What if he gets on base at a league-leading clip — or near it, anyway — drives the ball to the gaps and scores a ton of runs as one of the top leadoff men in baseball?
After the way his 2014 season regressed before ultimately being shut down with ankle problems, it'd be a welcomed development.
The Rangers' problems in 2014 were too many to list here, but their lack of offensive punch due to injuries was a big one, and one of the big ones was Choo's ankle injury he suffered just more than a month into the season, which was a nagging mess the rest of the way before he eventually shut it down near the end of August when the Rangers' hopes of a successful season were gone.
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To put it in perspective, Choo's season hit a high-water mark on May 6 when he ended the day against the Rockies hitting .370 with a .500 on-base percentage. From that point, he began a slow slide that quickly turned into a freefall and ended the year on Aug. 23 with a .242/.340 slash — pretty pedestrian numbers, especially for a $14 million player.
If Choo can get back to what he's known for, it'll be a huge boost for a Rangers offense that fell flat last season. But it's just one of many "ifs" involving the 2015 Rangers.