In an American League West division trade today, the Texas Rangers sent outfielder Craig Gentry and pitcher Josh Lindblom to the Oakland Athletics, receiving outfield prospect Michael Choice and infield prospect Chris Bostick in return. Here is my take on Choice and Bostick.
Chris Bostick, 2B: Bostick was a 44th round pick in 2011 from high school in Rochester, New York. He emerged as an intriguing prospect in 2013 by hitting .282/.354/.452 with 14 homers, 25 steals, 51 walks, and 122 strikeouts in 555 plate appearances for Beloit in the Low-A Midwest League.
Bostick is a 5-11, 185 pound right-handed hitter, born March 24, 1993. Midwest League sources regarded him as a significant sleeper prospect based on his performance for Beloit, and I agree. He is a good overall athlete with above-average speed and more power in his bat than you'd expect from a 5-11, 185 pounder. He shows reasonable range at second base but is error-prone at this point in his career. His arm is good for a second baseman and would play well enough at shortstop or third base, giving him possibilities as a utility player with pop.
Michael Choice, OF: Choice was drafted by Oakland in the first round in 2010, 10th overall, from the University of Texas-Arlington. He was an outstanding hitter with power and patience in college and earned a $2,000,000 bonus. He hit 30 home runs in the California League in 2011, but slumped to just 10 in 91 games in Double-A in '12, although he was still above-average overall with a .287/.356/.423 line in the Texas League. He hit .302/.390/.445 with 14 homers and 69 walks in 130 games for Triple-A Sacramento this year, then went 5-for-18 in nine games for the Athletics down the stretch.
A right-handed hitter and thrower, Choice is listed at 6-0, 215 pounds, born November 10, 1989. His best physical tool is power, but he's a solid overall athlete with average speed and arm strength. He runs well enough that he's played center field primarily in the minors without embarrassing himself, although in the long run he may fit better in left.
Choice strikes out a lot but works counts and has maintained solid walk rates. A steady producer in the minors, Choice has not been extremely dominant but is just persistently above average, and I think he'll do something similar in the majors once he gets settled in. Playing in his hometown should be a nice bonus for him.
ANALYSIS: Gentry improves the Oakland outfield with his glove and Lindblom could help in the back of the bullpen, but my initial reaction is that the Rangers get the better of this deal in the long run. Choice has an opportunity to develop into a home town hero, and the intriguing Bostick is a nice bonus.
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