July 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielderShin-Soo Choo
(17) catches a fly ball during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
One major splash that Jon Daniels made during the offseason was the signing of Shin-Soo Choo. The Texas Rangers picked him up on a 7-year deal worth $130 million. Choo will make $14 million for 2014 and 2015 and then $20 million after that. Although there may be concerns on the back end of the contact with the questions how well will Choo do when his is 39, the front half seems pretty solid.
Over the past several years, Choo has been either the leader or in the top list of players for on-base percentage. Last season he did have issues against lefties, only batting .215, but he did manage to have a batting line of .285/.423/.462/.885. He 32 doubles, 21 home runs and total of 117 walks.
Ron Washington may sit him during some left-handed pitcher match ups, but it is expected that Shin-Soo Choo will still get most of the playing time in left. The Texas Rangers expect Choo to help an offense that struggled last year, because Choo can get on base.
Ron Washington has said that Choo will be the Texas Rangers lead-off man for the 2014 season, but it could be mixed up some with issue issues against lefties. Also, since last year he played primary in center field, it is likely he’ll get some time there also.
Over his 9 year career, Choo has played in mostly in right field (573 starts), then center field (160 starts – mainly with the Reds), and finally he had 60 starts in left. Those starts in left are mainly sprinkled over his career.
Choo will be playing left, mainly because he does have the most time in left over Alex Rios and Leonys Martin.
Overall, expect Shin-Soo Choo to get most of the time in left. Also, Leonys Martin, Alex Rios and Michael Choice will probably also be getting some time in left when Choo either plays center field or is given a night off against a lefty he doesn’t do well against.