Ji-Man Choi
Ji-Man Choi
29-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Tampa Bay Rays
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Choi has seemingly found a home in Tampa Bay after bouncing around the league in waiver-wire purgatory. A player with splits issues and a good personality is a great fit for the way Tampa Bay constructs a roster, especially when they play decent defense. Choi has been an above-average bat against righty pitching each of the past three seasons, although this most recent one was his worst of the bunch. He does not hit lefties, and even tried switch hitting for a bit in 2020 to solve that. He works a quality at-bat with a discerning eye, and will accept walks which helps in OBP leagues, but the cap on his playing time due to his issues against lefties makes him very tough to roster in shallower mixed leagues. Expect more of the same in 2021, as the Rays are unlikely to make any adjustments to their roster which would push Choi off the bag at first. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#545
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $2.45 million contract with the Rays in February of 2021.
Starting at DH
1BTampa Bay Rays
March 3, 2021
Choi (knee) is starting at designated hitter and batting cleanup Wednesday against the Pirates, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports.
ANALYSIS
He has been eased into spring action after dealing with right knee soreness early in camp. Choi is starting at DH in this one, but appears to be on track to get starts at first base in the near future.
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Batting Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
7
2
1
20
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+48%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+70%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+38%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+77%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .586 137 13 4 11 0 .183 .277 .308
Since 2018vs Right .865 716 82 28 100 4 .271 .372 .493
2020vs Left .461 18 1 1 2 0 .118 .167 .294
2020vs Right .783 127 15 2 14 0 .248 .354 .429
2019vs Left .629 94 9 2 6 0 .210 .309 .321
2019vs Right .869 393 45 17 57 2 .274 .377 .492
2018vs Left .513 25 3 1 3 0 .136 .240 .273
2018vs Right .908 196 22 9 29 2 .280 .372 .536
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+23%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+25%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .783 425 44 14 54 3 .245 .348 .435
Since 2018Away .855 428 51 18 57 1 .267 .364 .490
2020Home .825 69 8 1 9 0 .241 .362 .463
2020Away .670 76 8 2 7 0 .221 .303 .368
2019Home .734 245 24 8 27 2 .239 .335 .399
2019Away .915 242 30 11 36 0 .284 .393 .523
2018Home .869 111 12 5 18 1 .261 .369 .500
2018Away .856 110 13 5 14 1 .265 .345 .510
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Ji-Man Choi compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.56
 
BB Rate
13.8%
 
K Rate
24.8%
 
BABIP
.291
 
ISO
.180
 
AVG
.230
 
OBP
.331
 
SLG
.410
 
OPS
.741
 
wOBA
.321
 
Exit Velocity
84.4 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
34.8%
 
Barrels/PA
2.8%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2017
2015
Choi's last two seasons have been similar, with the difference being the move from homer-embellishing Miller Park to power-suppressing Tropicana Field. Choi improved his K% and BB% last season. His average exit velocity is consistently around the 85th percentile, fueling a reasonable batting average floor and moderate power, capped by a slightly-below-average flyball rate. Some platoon hitters can't hit same-side pitching, others aren't given enough reps to find out if they can. Choi's career 127 wRC+ facing right-handers is nearly double his 64 wRC+ mark against southpaws, but he only has 125 career plate appearances against left-handers, just over 10% of what's necessary to say the player owns his splits. However, the Strat-O-Matic Rays aren't the right organization to give Choi more same-side at-bats, restricting his fantasy value to deeper mixed leagues and AL-only formats.
Would you believe Choi's average exit velocity bested the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Edwin Encarnacion, Cody Bellinger and Nolan Arenado? Choi began the season in Milwaukee, and was designated for assignment at the same time Tampa Bay had decided to move on from 2017 surprise Brad Miller and his terrible defense. The two clubs swapped players and Choi became the 2018 version of Miller as he was a big part of the club's summer surge that kept them in contention a lot longer than anyone imagined. Choi hit .269/.370/.506 with Tampa Bay in 189 plate appearances, and C.J. Cron's departure this offseason gives Choi the leg up on the primary DH role for 2019. Choi should sit against all lefties whenever possible, so plan on a 475-plate-appearance ceiling for him, which makes him more of a single-league target.
The Angels selected 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 suspended 50 games last April for failing a PED test. He doesn't have much in the way of raw power, but the 23-year-old has outstanding plate discipline. In 70 games at Triple-A Tacoma last season, Choi walked 36 times against 42 strikeouts. He's posted strong walk rates and low strikeout rates most of his minor-league career, and he makes excellent contact as well. Still, he would need a big spring to land a roster spot to begin 2015.
More Fantasy News
Spring debut coming Wednesday
1BTampa Bay Rays
Knee
March 1, 2021
Rays manager Kevin Cash said Choi (knee) is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut Wednesday against the Pirates, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Has pregame activity Sunday
1BTampa Bay Rays
Knee
February 28, 2021
Choi (knee) fielded groundballs and took batting practice before Sunday's Grapefruit League opener, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dealing with right knee soreness
1BTampa Bay Rays
Knee
February 27, 2021
Choi didn't work out with the Rays on Saturday due to a sore right knee, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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No switch-hitting plans in '21
1BTampa Bay Rays
February 26, 2021
Choi plans to focus exclusively on hitting from the left side this season after experimenting with switch-hitting during the 2020 campaign, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Scores win in arbitration
1BTampa Bay Rays
February 5, 2021
Choi will earn $2.45 million this season after winning his arbitration case Friday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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