Shin-Soo Choo's upper deck shot to right field capped off a six-run first inning on Monday night against the Houston Astros, and it was a continuation of a pretty nice run for the beleaguered Rangers outfielder.
Choo, who turned into nothing but a platoon outfielder making XX million per season before the all-star break, has turned things around since the break and has more resembled the player the Rangers signed prior to last season.
The 32-year-old former on-base machine hasn't quite lived up to those expectations in a Rangers uniform, but over his last 13 games (12 starts), Choo has caught fire at the plate. In those games since the all-star break ended, Choo is batting .364 with a .453 on-base percentage and a monstrous .705 slugging percentage.
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In those games, Choo has 16 hits — half of them have gone for extra bases. He has four doubles, a triple and three home runs to go with 12 RBIs and seven walks. He does have 14 strikeouts, which is still a bit high, but he's producing otherwise.
With guys like Prince Fielder and Rougned Odor, who'd carried the lineup for quite some time, in the midst of slumps, the Rangers needed other players to pick up the slack and Choo has been a big part of that effort. If he keeps producing this way, he might start to see some more regular playing time against left-handed starters, and the Rangers would love nothing more than to be forced to give that to him.