Dec 27, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo (left) talks with manager Ron Washington during a press conference at Texas Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The man wearing the jersey number seventeen was often refered to as “boomstick” over the past five plus seasons. He was known for crushing pitching during the 2011 post season, he was known for being a late bloomer, and unfortunately he was also known for missing the catch in-game six of the 2011 World Series and for being suspended for steroids in 2013. But there is a new number seventeen in town, one named Shin-Soo Choo.
I find it a little surprising that he picked Nelson Cruz‘s number, especially before Cruz has even signed with another team. He was a beloved Texas Ranger for many years, but as we have all seen over the past few seasons, the Texas Rangers don’t seem to have a problem letting guys walk when they feel like it is time for them to go (CJ Wilson, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, Michael Young). Choo is happy to be here and said he wanted to be a Texas Rangers outfielder. “The first thing I was looking for was a winning team,” Choo was quoted as saying today (texasrangers.com). “Then I thought about my family and how comfortable was the city, the Korean community. Everything came together. The Texas Rangers were the best fit for me. It was very easy to pick this team.”
The Texas Rangers feel the same way about Choo. The front office has been interested in his services for several years now.
“Choo was the perfect fit. His skill set and personality, his goals and desires, lines up with what our club needs. If you look at his performance over the last few years, he’s one of the most productive offensive players in the game. We get a sense he is truly driven.” Daniels said today (texasrangers.com). As we have discussed before on this site, Choo will be the leadoff hitter and left fielder. Choo is a very traditional sort of leadoff hitter, working a lot of walks and scoring a lot of runs, just what the Rangers wanted to replace Ian Kinlser in that leadoff spot. I expect Choo to make a difference for a Texas Rangers team that barely missed the post season in 2013 and were eliminated in the wild card game in 2012. The addition of Choo and Fielder will hopefully bring a division title back to Arlington. We will just have to wait and see. But either way, lets all welcome the new number seventeen to Arlington on opening day!