Texas Rangers: Should Shin-Soo Choo Be Benched for Willie Calhoun?
By Kenneth Nash
Since the Texas Rangers season is basically a write off at this point, shouldn’t our young players be getting the bulk of the late season playing time?
It seems so simple. With a team that’s in the same situation the Texas Rangers are, shouldn’t the younger players be getting the majority of the at-bats and playing time as the season draws to a close? Wouldn’t you want your future stars getting as much game experience as possible before you head into next season. The answer seems like a simple yes. But when you take a deeper look, it’s a much more complex decision.
Number 2 prospect and seemingly future star, Willie Calhoun was called up at the beginning of September as the MLB rosters expanded. The expanded rosters are generally a chance for those Double-A and Triple-A players that are right on the cusp of the big leagues, to get some MLB exposure and development. Calhoun, who already played a chunk of the summer in Arlington, seems to perfectly fit that mold. Probably the most talented prospect in the organization that is anywhere close to big league ready, it seems simple that he should be getting a large chunk of playing time this month as he likely will be in the majors come the start of 2019. However, veteran Shin-Soo Choo’s performance this season makes it a much more complicated situation that it may seem at first glance.
Choo, who has been the Rangers most consistent hitter in 2018, is putting the finishing touches on an All-Star season. Hitting .270 with an on-base percentage knocking on .400, Choo has seen a resurgence in his age-35 season playing like the person Texas signed for $130,000,000 back in 2013. His spot in the lineup wouldn’t even be up for debate would it not be for star prospect Willie Calhoun. Choo, limited to DH mostly at this stage of his career, seemingly is blocking the path for the young slugger to take over his inevitable role as the Rangers designated hitter.
More from Texas Rangers News
- Early 2023 MLB mock draft has Texas Rangers selecting an Ohtani-lite
- 3 Texas Rangers outfield trade targets not named Bryan Reynolds
- Did Jacob deGrom really mean what he said at his Texas Rangers press conference?
- Martin Perez accepting the qualifying offer looking like solid deal for the Rangers
- 4 outfielders the Texas Rangers can still pursue this winter
If you’re Jeff Banister though, can you really bench Shin-Soo Choo when he’s played so well. Should a game that is purely a meritocracy no longer be one in the name of “the future”. It’d even be one thing if Choo was leaving the club at the end of the season. The lefty though is under contract for two more years meaning any decisions are likely to have ramifications for the foreseeable future.
Now Choo strikes me as the consummate professional and likely would not put up much argument if Willie Calhoun cut into his playing time, but Choo is not the only player affected here. Benching Choo would be a move that likely could frustrate some other veterans in the locker room.
This may seem like a lot of conjecture, and it is. We can’t fully predict how anybody would react in this hypothetical situation. But what we do know is Shin-Soo Choo has been productive this year. So productive that he was the lone All-Star on the club this season. He has earned a spot in this lineup and considering he’s on the team for the next two years most likely, benching him would be a bad move by the Rangers coaching staff.
Let us know how you feel about the Willie Calhoun/Shin-Soo Choo debate in the comments below.