PHOENIX -- Unwilling to sit on his credentials as the 10th player taken in the 2010 draft, Michael Choice was looking for ways to improve his game before heading to spring training with the A's.
The outfield prospect decided a 60-minute drive from his home in Arlington, Texas, would do the trick. At the end of his journey, he met up with four-time All-Star Torii Hunter, the owner of nine Gold Gloves.
Hunter was happy to share his expertise as the two worked out repeatedly over the course of the winter.
"He's all about keeping his swing short and consistent," Choice said. "I closed up my stance a little and worked on minimizing my head movement. It was a great learning experience."
Hunter, who signed as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers after the 2012 season, said Choice is an apt pupil.
"We hit every day," Hunter said. "He came over faithfully. He was pulling off the ball a lot. I just told him to drive the ball to right-center. He was working on driving with power. His mechanics are looking a lot better."
Choice is in game situations now, and those improved mechanics are busting out. He's hitting .448 with a .704 slugging percentage that includes two doubles, a triple and a homer.
In all likelihood, A's manager Bob Melvin won't have room for Choice to start the season with Oakland. But Melvin likes what he sees.
"It's like I'm talking about Michael Choice every day," the manager said. "But he's been good, day
Hunter did issue one warning to Choice -- that the young A's hitter better not put the ball in the right-center gap when the A's are playing the Tigers.
"I told him, 'Don't do it,'" Hunter said.
Choice homered in the fourth inning Friday when the A's played Seattle in a game that was called after four innings because of rain, with Oakland leading 12-1. Choice's homer was the fifth of the day for the A's.
Then he went out and homered in his first two at-bats.
"If you told me that somebody had left his jersey behind," catcher John Jaso said, "and then hit two homers, I would have known it was Donaldson."
Or, as manager Bob Melvin said, "the legend grows." Asked if Donaldson will keep 98, Melvin said, "it's been discussed, believe me."
Griffin said he made an adjustment in delivering his curve, going back to more of an over-the-top release, making the pitch sharper and easier to control.
"I was getting a lot better break today," he said. "It was an easy fix."