Randol Doyle Choate (born September 5, 1975) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. The New York Yankees selected him in the 1997 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft from Florida State University. Choate made his MLB debut for the Yankees in 2000, and also pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, Florida/Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals. He won the 2000 World Series with the Yankees, beating the New York Mets.
Choate with the Blue Jays during spring training, 2016
|Born: September 5, 1975|
San Antonio, Texas
|July 1, 2000, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 2015, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.90|
|Career highlights and awards|
As a left-handed relief pitcher, Choate appeared mainly in matchups against left-handed hitters. His pitching style featured a sidearm-delivery style that hid the ball effectively from left-handed hitters, while only marginally so against right-handed hitters. His repertoire featured almost exclusively a sinking fastball and slider combination.
Early life and amateur careerEdit
Choate was born in San Antonio, Texas. He attended Churchill High School in San Antonio, and was a letterman in baseball. He then attended Florida State University, where he was a third team College All-American in 1996 and a second team College All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star in 1997.
Draft and minor leagues (1997–2000)Edit
Choate was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 1997 Major League Baseball draft and made his professional debut with the Class-A Oneonta Yankees later that season. He split 1998 between the Greensboro Bats and the Tampa Yankees and spent all of 1999 with Tampa before being promoted to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in 2000.
New York Yankees (2000–03)Edit
Choate made his Major League debut on July 1, 2000, as a member of the New York Yankees, retiring the only batter he faced in a 6–1 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Tropicana Field. In his 22 games for the Yankees that year, Choate had a record of 0–1 with a 4.76 ERA, and was a part of the World Series-winning club. After a career best 3–1 record with 3.35 ERA in 2001, he was less effective in 2002 and 2003, playing in just 23 games with a 6.23 ERA. He also spent considerable time in the minors with Columbus.
Arizona Diamondbacks (2004–07)Edit
The Yankees traded Choate to the Montreal Expos with Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera for Javier Vázquez on December 16, 2003. The following March 27, the Expos then traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher John Patterson. Choate appeared in 74 games for the Diamondbacks, the most number of games by a left-handed pitcher in Diamondbacks history and the fourth-highest by any pitcher in franchise history. He also achieved a 2–4 record with a 4.62 ERA.
In 2005 and 2006, Choate played in 90 games. However, he played a vast majority of the 2006 season with Arizona's Triple-A affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, playing a key role in the bullpen, by helping them win the Pacific Coast League championship.
Choate later signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins on January 9, 2007, but chose to become a free agent on March 24 after being reassigned to a minor league camp three days earlier. He signed a minor league contract to return to the Diamondbacks in April 2007, and was assigned to Tucson. The Diamondbacks purchased his contract from Tucson on June 26, 2007, but he made only two appearances before he was designated for assignment on June 28.
Milwaukee Brewers (2008)Edit
On November 14, 2007, the Milwaukee Brewers signed him to a one-year contract. During spring training 2008, Choate broke a bone in his left hand. In mid-June, he began his rehab assignment in the minors. He pitched for the first time in the 2008 season for the High-A Brevard County Manatees. He was next moved up to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. On July 10, Choate was sent outright to the minors. He became a free agent at the end of the season.
Tampa Bay Rays (2009–10)Edit
Choate signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on January 6, 2009. He earned his first career save on May 29, 2009, against the Minnesota Twins. In 2010, Choate led the American League in appearances with 85 while pitching a total of 44 2⁄3 innings. In two seasons with the Rays, he was 5–3 with a 3.89 ERA in 146 games. In a span of 97 consecutive appearances from September 10, 2010, to June 12, 2012, Choate allowed one or zero hits each time.
Florida/Miami Marlins (2011–12)Edit
On December 15, 2010, Choate agreed to a two-year, $2.5 million deal with the Florida Marlins. He was 1–1 with a 2.16 ERA in 98 games over the next season and a half with the Marlins.
Los Angeles Dodgers (2012)Edit
Choate was traded along with Hanley Ramírez to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 25, 2012, in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough. With the Dodgers, he appeared in 36 games and had a 4.05 ERA in 13 1⁄3 innings. His combined totals for the season with the Marlins and Dodgers included 80 appearances, leading MLB, and 38 1⁄3 IP, making him the only player in MLB history with at least 80 appearances and less than 40 IP in a season.
St. Louis Cardinals (2013–15)Edit
On December 7, 2012, Choate signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. On May 20, 2015, he drew a walk as a hitter for the first time in his career against the New York Mets. He earned his first save with the club in a 1–0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on July 25, 2015, getting A. J. Pierzynski to ground into a game-ending double play. He became a free agent again when his contract expired after the 2015 season.
Toronto Blue JaysEdit
Second Stint with DodgersEdit
On June 12, 2016, Choate signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 24 games for the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, he had a 5.56 ERA. He was released on September 1, 2016.
On February 16, 2017, Choate announced his retirement.
Featuring a sidearm-delivery style with a repertoire of almost exclusively sinking fastballs and sliders, one of Choate's strengths was inducing ground balls from left-handed hitters with runners on base, especially for double plays. In 2011, Choate's sinker induced a ground ball rate of 71.4%. His slider had broad side-to-side movement, inducing a 19.5% swing-and-miss rate. In 2011 and 2012, he produced 11.31 and 8.84 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (K/9) rates, respectively, despite his fastball speeds average just 86 miles per hour (138 km/h) to 88 miles per hour (142 km/h).
- "Randy Choate Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- "Arizona options Peguero to minors, recalls Choate". ESPN.com. The Associated Press. June 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Schwartz, Michael (June 28, 2007). "Notes: Top college catcher signs". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Wagner, Andrew. "Brewers Notebook: Changing things up." OnMilwaukee.com. 16 June 2008. 19 June 2008.
- Corcoran, Cliff (25 July 2012). "Miami Marlins evoke memories of past fire sale with Hanley Ramirez deal". SportsIllustrated.CNN.com. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Fagan, Ryan (September 28, 2015). "Cardinals lefty Randy Choate is the LOOGY king". Sporting News. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Langosch, Jenifer (December 7, 2012). "Cardinals agree to deal with lefty Choate: Veteran fills role of second southpaw in 'pen, allowing Rzepczynski to be more flexible". MLB.com.
- Goold, Derrick (May 20, 2015). "Choate has waited an entire career for a walk like that". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- Wilhelm, Dave (July 25, 2015). "Choate comes to the rescue in rare save opportunity for Cardinals". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- Wilmoth, Charlie (November 4, 2015). "Offseason outlook: St. Louis Cardinals". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- Ashbourne, Nick (March 11, 2016). "Report: Blue Jays sign lefty reliever Choate to minor-league deal". Sportsnet. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "Blue Jays release Choate, former all-star Delabar". Sportsnet. March 29, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- Murti, Sweeny (February 16, 2017). "Sweeny: Randy Choate, 'Loogy' Extraordinaire, Calls It A Career". newyork.cbslocal.com. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
- Witt, Ryan (December 6, 2012). "A scouting report on the newest St. Louis Cardinal, Randy Choate". Examiner.com. Missing or empty