Oakland A’s history: Remembering Michael Choice
By David Hill
At one point, Michael Choice was one of the top prospects in the Oakland A’s system. Unfortunately, he never lived up to that promise.
Once upon a time, Michael Choice was one of the top prospects in all of baseball. The Oakland A’s outfielder was considered a consensus top 100 prospect prior to the 2012 and 2014 seasons, the 10th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. He was expected to be a power hitting outfielder, a player with a good approach at the plate, but some swing and miss tendencies.
Choice rocketed through the A’s system, reaching the majors as a September callup. He appeared in nine games, with 19 plate appearances. He did manage to get five hits, including a double, and walked once. But those swing and miss tendencies were apparent, as Choice also struck out six times.
Prior to the 2014 season, Choice appeared to be getting his chance. The A’s traded him, and infielder Chris Bostick, to the Texas Rangers for Josh Lindblom and Craig Gentry. Choice was the key piece for the Rangers, as they hoped he could be a building block for the future.
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Instead, Choice was a disaster in every aspect. He did manage to get into a career high 86 games, but showed little to the Rangers in that time. Over his 280 plate appearances, he produced a horrendous .182/.250/.320 batting line. He did manage to hit nine homers and make contact at an above average rate, but he did nothing with that opportunity.
His defense was not much better. The Rangers tried Choice in both corner outfield positions, with equally disastrous results. He cost the Rangers a total of 11 runs in just 65 appearances in the outfield, his defense making fans pine for the adventures of Jose Canseco.
That essentially marked the end of his major league career. Choice did get one more plate appearance, getting a single at bat on June 24, 2015. He struck out against Edward Mujica in the eighth, and made an error on the only chance he received in right. That was enough for Texas, as they sent him back to the minors, never to return.
His time in the organization was over approximately two months later. He was purchased by the Indians, but never reached the majors and was released after the 2016 season. Choice then signed with the Orioles, but was released on May 2. Three days later, the former top prospect inked a minor league deal with the Brewers, lasting two and a half months before being released again. Since then, he has bounced between the Korean Baseball Organization and the Mexican League, the promise of the past having long since faded away.
Michael Choice was supposed to be a can’t miss prospect for the Oakland A’s. Turns out that those can’t miss prospects can miss after all.