Jordan Spieth appreciates Rangers’ Choo Shin-soo’s heroics, calls him ‘beast’

October 7, 2015
United States' Jordan Spieth, left, walks with teammate Dustin Johnson during their final practice round ahead of the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

United States’ Jordan Spieth, left, walks with teammate Dustin Johnson during their final practice round ahead of the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

INCHEON (Yonhap) — In between playing his matches at this week’s Presidents Cup for the United States in South Korea, world No. 1 Jordan Spieth said Wednesday he will try to find time to follow some playoff baseball with a South Korean star patrolling the right field for his favorite team, the Texas Rangers.

The Dallas native is a long-time fan of the Rangers, the American League West champs this year, and even threw out the ceremonial first pitch in August.

Spieth credited Choo Shin-soo, the Rangers’ right fielder and No. 2 hitter who enjoyed a strong second half, with helping the club win the division for the first time in four years.

“He’s a beast,” Spieth said during a media availability. “He provides a big spark there for our big hitters. He gets on base a lot. He’s been an exciting player this year. When our pitching went down and it looked like we were going to give up, he was one of the key players to bring us back.”

Spieth also said he met Choo briefly when throwing out the first pitch and added that Choo “seemed like a nice guy.”

Spieth was spot on with his assessment of Choo, who was named the AL Player of the Month for September after leading Major League Baseball with a .464 batting average and a .515 on-base percentage, and tying for the big league lead with 42 hits.

Choo is the first player to lead the majors in those three categories in September since Willie Mays in 1958. Choo also hit five home runs and drove in 20 runs.

With Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder, the Rangers’ No. 3 and 4 hitters, also swinging hot bats, the Rangers enjoyed a late-season surge to come out on top in the division.

Next up: the AL East champions Toronto Blue Jays in the AL Division Series, starting Thursday in Toronto.

The Jays led the majors with 891 runs and 232 home runs, and Spieth said the Rangers will need Choo to keep doing what he’s been doing this year.

“Now we have to score a lot of runs, so we’re going to have to count on him a lot,” Spieth said.

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