The Angels selected Ji-Man Choi in the Rule 5 draft last offseason due to his strong ability to get on base, and the early returns on their investment were mixed. Despite a middling performance during spring training, the first baseman did manage to break with the major league club, but he was sent off the 40-man roster after going just 1-for-18 over the first month and a half of the season. He continued to hammer minor league pitching, which earned him a ticket back to the majors in July, but he was only able to muster a .170/.271/.339 slash line by season's end. The 25-year-old did walk 12.4 percent of the time in the big leagues but he also struck out over 20 percent of the time. If Choi can begin hitting major league pitchers like he hits minor leaguers, he could garner a second look now that he's a member of the Yankees organization. However, with Greg Bird and Tyler Austin expected to amass the most time at first base and Matt Holliday slated to DH, Choi seems like the odd man out and could spend 2017 in an organizational depth role once more.
Choi was reassigned to minor league camp Friday, Brendan Kuty of The Star-Ledger reports. The former Angel signed with the Yankees hoping to catch on with the big-league club out of camp, but he fell short. Choi could work his way into at-bats later this season as a reserve or an emergency starter, though he sits behind Greg Bird, Chris Carter, Tyler Austin and Rob Refsnyder, at minimum, in the first base hierarchy.
Choi signed a minor league contract with the Yankees on Monday that includes an invitation to spring training. It's not surprising that Choi could not find a big league deal after electing free agency rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A in the Angels' organization. He posted a 67 wRC+ last year while getting 125 of his 129 plate appearances with the platoon advantage. Greg Bird, Tyler Austin and Rob Refsnyder all figure to be ahead of him on the organizational depth chart.
Choi has elected free agency in lieu of accepting his outright assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake. The 25-year-old who did not see a clear path to playing time on the big league roster in Anaheim, so he will test the market instead of agreeing to ride buses in 2017. Of course, coming off a year where he posted a 67 wRC+ while getting 125 of his 129 plate appearances with the platoon advantage, he will likely have to settle for a minor league pact with his next organization.
Choi has passed through waivers unclaimed and been outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake. Choi was the roster casualty of Ben Revere's one-year deal with the Angels and will now join the team's Triple-A affiliate after a disappointing rookie campaign. It's possible he will join the Angels at spring training as a non-roster invitee, but his .170/.271/.339 batting line at the top level last season and expected lack of opportunities at the major league level in 2017 make him an undesirable fantasy asset in the majority of fantasy formats.
Choi was designated for assignment on Friday, the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna reports. The Angels needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster after the signing of Ben Revere to a one-year deal, and Choi was the casualty. He was pretty underwhelming in his first year in the big leagues last season, slashing .170/.271/.339 with five home runs in 129 plate appearances. His .170 ISO indicates noteworthy pop, and his .173 BABIP points to some bad luck, but he does not profile as someone who will play enough or hit for a high enough average to be useful in standard leagues anytime soon.