Texas Rangers: The leadoff role is Shin-Soo Choo’s for as long as he is here

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers runs out his solo homerun to trail 11-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers runs out his solo homerun to trail 11-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers have found their leadoff man for the present. Shin-Soo Choo has been outstanding in the role, but his success is only helping his trade value.

Shin-Soo Choo took no time to extend his on-base streak to an insane 34 games after leading off last night’s game with a single. He is now 12 games away from conquering Phillies’ outfielder Odubel Herrera‘s streak of 45 earlier this season. Though, he still has a ways to go to catch the all-time streak of 84, established by none other than Ted Williams. But, something tells me Choo isn’t too concerned with breaking records. Watching him routinely throughout the years, he’s without a doubt more concerned with the Texas Rangers team results.

Much to Shin-Soo’s satisfaction, his team has rallied off five consecutive wins. The five-game win streak is Texas’ longest of the year. Their previous season long streak was three games, which they had only reached once. It’s nice to string together some positive streaks! On-base streaks and winning streaks are much more enjoyable to talk about than consecutive games Joey Gallo has struck out or consecutive games without a quality start from a starting pitcher.

The Texas Rangers have an 8-8 record ever since Choo took over the leadoff role on June 2nd. June 2nd to today spans 16 games. In those sixteen games, the 35-year old hit .323 with an incredible .462 OBP and a 1.042 OPS. What also needs to be mentioned is the fact that he drew three walks in three of the 16 games. The man is on fire! And it’s not just since he became the leadoff man.

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KANSAS CITY, MO – JUNE 18: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers celebrates scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

Choo, who was hitting second in the batting order for most of the year, has seen his batting average increase from .237 to .277 since May 6th. He has quietly become the Rangers’ most consistent hitter. You could also make the argument that he is the team’s best hitter.

Shin-Soo Choo’s success could not be coming at a better time for the Texas Rangers. Of course, he is one of the primary names mentioned in trade discussions. Texas doesn’t have much need for him at the moment considering they are going into rebuild mode. However, his team-unfriendly contract has kept him here with very little promise of departure.

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Prior to the past two months, Choo’s on-field play was not helping at all with trade leniency. Although, his current tear makes the idea of moving him finally seem possible. There is no doubt the Rangers would still have to eat a good portion of his remaining contract, but that portion might be lessening as Choo continues his dominance.

He is not quite what he used to be in the outfield; however, he has proved he is still good enough to play there. He lacks in range, but he still possesses a quality arm and he takes quality routes to the ball. Point being, if a team wants him badly enough, defense should not stall any trade negotiations.

At this point, teams would be foolish to pass up on an opportunity to obtain an on-base freak like Shin-Soo Choo.

Next: How much longer will Cole Hamels be around?

It truly is annoying to rave about a player’s remarkable streak and then aim towards trading him. Unfortunately, that is the way it needs to be. Texas Rangers baseball is now about the future. All veterans are at risk of being traded, no matter how much help they are providing to the current team. Shin-Soo Choo’s success is more about tasty trade bait than it is team results.

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