Michael Choice – OF/CF
Oakland A’s #3 Rated Prospect – Baseball America Handbook
Scouting Trip: April 4 & 6, 2011
Stockton Ports A+ Team Workout & Fan Fest 4/4/11
Sac. River Cats AAA vs Stockton Ports A+ Exhibition 4/6/11
- Arm Strength
Born: Nov 10, 1989 Drafted: 1st Rd #10 2010 Bonus: $2 Million
Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-0 Wt: 215
Stockton Ports Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-0 Wt: 215
Hitting/Power: Baseball America grades Michael Choice’s power at 70 on a 20-80 scale as he is able to pack a lot of punch with his thick legs and quick bat. By chance, the minute I arrived at the Stockton Ports Fan Fest on 4.4.2011 Choice was about to take his cuts in the batting cage which is located on the concourse along the 1st base side of the stadium. As you can see from the picture on the right, you can get an up close look at a guys swing in the cage at Banner Island Ballpark.
Choice is a real smooth operator out there. He wasn’t going that hard in the cage but it’s obvious to see the power comes from the leverage he generates with his strong lower base. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not, but maybe the perks of being a #1 draft pick was there was only one other player in the cage when Choice was taking his cuts. After Choice left the cage, the entire rest of the team came in and took shared batting practice in one of the 4 cages. It’s clear Choice is considered the big star on the Stockton Ports A+ roster as evident during the autograph session (see below).
During the exhibition game against the AAA Minor League affiliate of the Oakland A’s, the Sacramento River Cats, I only saw Choice take two at-bats as the game was cut short after 6 1/2 innings because of high winds. Michael looks comfortable in the box, taking an athletic stance, nothing out of normal. Baseball America calls his swing unorthodox and maybe they say that because he does have a lot of ‘rocking’ movement as he tries to generate power in his swing.
Clean Up Hitter – #4 In Order
AB 1 – I want to say Choice worked himself into a hitters count and then displayed the power he is known for. It looked like he got fooled for a second, got out on his front foot, but hit a ball real well that one hopped the wall on the warning track in slightly right/center field for a stand up double. Was this the unorthodox swing BA was talking about? His power does grade out at 70 – so he should be able to drive balls without getting both cheeks into the swing. I’ll have a chance to see Choice take many AB’s this year so I’ll take a closer look the next time out.
AB 2 – Runners were on 1st and 3rd with two outs when Choice took his 2nd AB of the evening. He took a few pitches and then once again, he got out on his front foot and check-swinged a ball back to the pitcher for an out. Was this his normal swing where he literally shifts his entire body weight onto his front foot almost like a Tennis player would when hitting a forehand winner? I think he has more balance in his swing then that from what I saw during his batting practice cuts. Check back for more reports on Choice as the Stockton Ports season rolls on.
Arm Strength: When I saw that Choice was going to play CF for the Stockton Ports A+ team this year I immediately thought, well, someday he will end up in RF or LF. That will perhaps still be the case, but Choice showed off what I thought to be an above average arm on a play during the 1st inning in the exhibition game against the River Cats. Runner was on 2nd, nobody out, and a fly ball gets hit to Choice in medium deep center field. Choice squares up the ball, catches, then fires a laser, dead into the wind (remember, the game was called in the 6th because of high winds) the cutoff man lets it go and it one hops the 3rd baseman and skips away off his glove. Runner is safe on the slide – if the 3B catches it clean he is still safe by a hair – but wow, the arm from Choice was legit on that play. Not sure if he has the running ability to stick in CF, but the arm should be fine from the throw I saw.
Makeup/Personality: Choice had just arrived in Stockton, CA for the first time just two days prior when I saw him at the Fan Fest on 4.4.2011. He was out talking with teammates, smiling, and joking around at times with the Ports Mascot. The term I’d use to describe Choice is a real cool customer. He looks smooth out there, like he belongs. Not cocky or arrogant, but you can tell he is confident in his ability to play baseball. If I were an A’s fan I’d be excited about Choice.
During the autograph session, Choice was more then willing to sign anything and everything. He was clearly the main attraction, and some fans came prepared to get as many auto’s from him as they could. The guy behind me in line literally had these huge blown up pictures of Choice, and the fan was telling Michael to inscribe each one differently – like “#10 Pick”. The picture on the right is him signing those photographs. Choice signed every single item even though it was clear a few of these guys were just getting as many autographs as they could to sell later on. I was able to get an autographed baseball of Choice that he graciously signed on the sweet spot of the ball – it was given away on our Forum on April 10.
Overall, Choice was interacting with teammates and coaches and was cordial with fans during the autograph session. I saw no red flags in terms of his makeup while at the Fan Fest or the exhibition game against the River Cats. I will be attending many Stockton Ports games this season, look for several volumes of write-ups on Oakland A’s top prospect Michael Choice.
Key Michael Choice Baseball Cards & Values
Prices Dated April 7, 2011 – Check the link for current market value on eBay.
2010 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Autograph #/50
Sold For: $192.00 + $3.09 s/h – April 4, 2011
2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph #/150
Sold For: $88 + $Free$ s/h – April 4, 2011
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