Choo’s struggles vs lefties could limit market value

shin-soo choo

Free agent Shin-Soo Choo had a solid 2013 season with the Cincinnati Reds where he posted a .285/.423/.462 slash line. Choo’s most attractive asset is his ability to get on base as his .423 OBP was good for 4th in the majors last season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The 31-year old outfielder from South Korea has his flaws.

Against righties, Choo was phenomenal at the plate. He posted a .317/.457/.544 slash line and belted all 21 of his homers when facing a righthanded pitch

As Peter Gammons commented on during an appearance on the Mully and Hanley Show, Choo struggled at the plate when facing lefthanded pitchers. His numbers across the board see significant decreases.

Shin-Soo Choo vs Righties/Lefties in 2013
PA AB AVG OBP SLUG OPS K% BB% HR
vs Righties 491 388 .317 .457 .554 1.011 18.1% 17.9% 21
vs Lefties 221 181 .215 .347 .265 .612 19.9% 10.9% 0

These numbers have to be alarming to teams considering Shin-Soo Choo as their leadoff bat for next season. His heat charts don’t help his case.

  Choo vs Righties 2013

Choo vs Lefties 2013

Don’t get me wrong, Shin-Soo Choo is a solid player. He has the qualities required for success at the leadoff position in the majors. He has power, speed, and patience at the plate. But his numbers against lefties is an area of concern for next season. Teams will likely remove Choo from their lineup when facing a lefthanded pitcher if he can’t make the necessary improvements.