Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reds hoping Choo can provide upgrade at leadoff spot

by: Brendan Henderson
Staff Writer

On Dec. 11, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds made a deal involving 3-teams and 9-players which sent OF Shin-Soo Choo (and $3.5M) to the Reds for OF Drew Stubbs and INF Did Gregorius.

Stubbs, the 8th overall pick for the Reds in the 2006 Amateur Draft, batted .241 with 59 homeruns and 178 RBI in 486 games as a Red. He had 110 stolen bases during that time, which is definitely a plus, but the main problem for Stubbs was his huge amount of strikeouts. He led MLB in strikeouts in 2011 with 205. He played great defense and ran the bases well, but what I think pushed the Reds over the top to get rid of him was his lack of being able to put the bat on the ball.

Shoo, the South Korean outfielder, signed with the Mariners as an Amateur Free Agent in 2000 and has played pretty well for the past seven years for the Mariners and the Indians. He has a good career batting average of .289 with 83 homeruns and 373 RBI. Shoo can also play some D. He had 14 assists as a right fielder in 2010, which led the AL. He also led the AL in Total Zone Runs as a RF in 2010 with 11. Shoo isn’t as fast as Stubbs but he does have 85 career stolen bases in 113 attempts. That’s a pretty good stolen base to caught stealing ratio, if you ask me.

Shoo will lead off for the Reds in the 2013 season. The Reds have needed a good, productive leadoff hitter for a while now and I think Cincinnati received just that in Shoo. He has led off in 101 career games, which he has a .307 batting average with 12 homers and 42 RBI. He also has a .386 on base percentage as a leadoff hitter.

The Reds needed a legitimate leadoff man and I think this addition pretty much makes them set. Think about it, Shoo leads off, then Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce. That’s an awesome first five, if you ask me.

Votto had 56 RBI in only 111 games, Ludwick had 80 in 125 games, and Bruce had 99 in 155 games. If these sluggers hit like they did last year/ hit like I know they can, the Reds are going to score some runs.

Overall, Stubbs grew on me this year, but I believe Reds fans will be more than happy with Shoo. I think the Reds Front Office did a great job by making this deal, and I hope it all turns out well. Time will tell.

You can follow Brendan on Twitter (@HenduBlog)

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