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Rangers' Choo Shin-soo belts 10th home run in win

All News 09:55 June 18, 2017

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers has reached double figures in home runs for the first time in two years.

Choo hit a two-run blast off Seattle Mariners reliever Dan Altavilla in the Rangers' five-run sixth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington in Texas on Saturday (local time).

Choo, who batted leadoff and played in right field, also hit a single in the second for a 2-for-5 day at the plate, helping the Rangers to a 10-4 victory.

Choo is now batting .261 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.

The 34-year-old matched his career high with 22 home runs in 2015 but managed just seven long balls in an injury-plagued 2016 season, in which he was limited to 48 games while making four trips to the disabled list.

Choo, who has been hitting first or second in recent games, also leads the Rangers with 39 walks and a .380 on-base percentage. Choo is tied for third in the American League in walks and seventh in on-base percentage.

In this Associated Press photo, outfielders of the Texas Rangers -- Delino DeShields, Carlos Gomez and Choo Shin-soo (L to R) -- celebrate their 10-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Global Life Park in Arlington in Texas on June 17, 2017. (Yonhap)

Choo is a career .279 hitter, but his batting average has hovered around .250 since the middle of May.

Numbers show that Choo has been victimized by some bad luck, and his batting average may eventually rise to his career norm.

Prior to Saturday, Choo had a career batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .339. In perhaps his most productive offensive season in 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds, Choo posted a BABIP of .338. In 2015, when he batted .276 overall with 22 home runs, Choo had a .335 BABIP.

This year, though, his BABIP was sitting at .289. A large deviation from a player's career average in BABIP usually indicates bad breaks for the hitter or strong defense that he has faced.

According to the statistics site FanGraphs, Choo is hitting the ball even harder this year than he has in some of his better offensive years.

He had the hard-hit rate of 35.2 percent before Saturday's game, compared with 32.8 percent in 2015 (22 home runs and 32 doubles) and 30.4 percent in 2013 (21 home runs and 34 doubles).

His career average in the hard-hit rate was 34.2 percent.


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