Outfielder Michael Choice, a member of the 2010 Kane County Cougars, has made his Major League debut after playing in Monday’s game for Oakland against Texas. Choice was in the lineup as designated hitter and drew a walk in his first big league at-bat. Choice is the 123rd former Cougar to reach the majors and the third Cougars alumnus to make his major league debut this season, joining ’10 Cougars teammates Max Stassi (Houston) and Ian Krol (Washington).
Chioce, a 1st round pick (10th overall) by the Oakland Athletics in 2010, was a late addition to the Cougars roster that fall. The talented outfielder joined the team following the playoff’s first round and immediately made an impact for the Cougars in the divisional championship series against Clinton, hitting a home run in his first Cougars at-bat. In the eight seasons of the Cougars’ affiliation with Oakland, Choice was the highest draft selection to don a Cougars uniform. Following the 2010 season, Choice steadily progressed through the A’s system and this season at Triple-A Sacramento, he belted 14 home runs, drove in 89 runs and batted .302 before receiving a promotion to Oakland.
The Cougars, Class-A farm team of the Chicago Cubs, has had at least one former player make a Major League debut in each season, dating back to 1993. The list includes Major League All-Stars, World Series champions and former MVP, Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winners.
Notes on Choice – All three Cougars who have made MLB debuts this season are from the ’10 team (Choice, Stassi, Krol)…Choice becomes the fourth player from the ’10 Cougars to reach the big leagues, joining Stassi, Krol and Oakland pitcher Dan Straily, who made his major league debut last season…Straily was the Cougars starting pitcher for Choice’s Cougars debut in September of 2010…the ’10 Cougars team was the Midwest League’s Western Division 2nd half champion and advanced to the league’s divisional championship round, falling one win shy of reaching the league’s championship series…Choice is the 29th Cougars alum to make his big league debut with Oakland.