A’s prospect Michael Choice, the 10th overall pick in the draft two years ago, will miss the rest of the 2012 season with a fractured hand.
Choice was riding a 16-game hitting streak for Double-A Midland when he was hit in the hand by a pitch during Saturday’s game. After a rough first half of the season that saw him bat .256/.326/.367 with six homers in 289 at-bats, he was at .414/.475/.657 with four homers since the All-Star break.
Choice has been a center fielder throughout his minor league career, but he projects as a right fielder in the majors, meaning he’s going to need to hit for more power and do a better job of making contact if he’s going to succeed as a regular. The last few weeks had to have the A’s more optimistic about his chances, so even though the timing of his injury was awfully disappointing, he should have a chance of opening next year in Triple-A.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.