Shin-Soo Choo Player Projection No. 84

Key Stats: Shin-Soo Choo played in only 85 games last season. That’s a problem in and of itself, but when he was on the field for those 85 games he was not the player he was in 2010 when he was the 34th ranked player in all of fantasy baseball. His walk rate was down, strikeout rate was up, average was down, and home run and double rates were down. We can’t blame all of this on playing hurt either – unless there’s an injury we did not know about. Choo was hitting .244 in late June before a pitch broke his thumb and put him on the shelf for seven weeks.

Skeptics Say: If he is healthy, he will help in all categories, but not exactly blow you away either. Choo has never had more than 90 RBI or runs scored in a season. He’s also never stolen more than 22 bases or hit 22 home runs in a season.

Peer Comparison: Based on all the information above, there is plenty not to like about Choo. It’s not that he’s undraftable, but why would he be going in the top 60 in most mock drafts? To me he’s not a top 70 player. Ask yourself, do I want a guy who was in hibernation for a season as my second outfielder or can I get an up-and-comer like Cameron Maybin or Desmond Jennings a few rounds later? And in terms of a possible substitute for taking Choo in the top 70, you can take a catcher. Take a look:

Name

ADP

Runs

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Age

Shin-Soo Choo*

60

81

22

90

22

.300

30

Buster Posey**

57

75

22

88

3

.299

25

Victor Martinez

61

76

12

103

1

.330

33

Joe Mauer*

81

88

9

75

1

.287

29

Brian McCann

53

51

24

71

3

.270

28

*Indicates 2010 stats

**Combines 2010 & 2011 seasons (153 total games)

Shoo is a minor upgrade to these players statistically without considering the position. When you take into account his position and the season he had in 2011, it makes it much more appealing to take someone at a thin position like catcher.

Lineup Outlook: In Choo’s solid 2010 campaign, he led the Tribe with the 22 home runs. The next closest player on the roster in the home run department had 13. In fact there wasn’t a player other than Choo that didn’t miss at least 40 games that season. Last season in Choo’s absence, Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera both hit more than 20 home runs and played more than 150 games. There is a greater deal of stability, so if Choo can stay healthy and can return to form he can drive in 90 plus and/or score 90 plus.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #18 Outfielder; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #20 Outfielder & #66 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #60 Overall; RotoChamp: #78 Overall

Projection: He’s going to be 30 years old, so it’s not like the world is caving in and he can’t bounce back from last year. That said is it worth a 5th round pick?

86 R 21 HR 89 RBI 19 SB .288 AVG .379 OBP .849 OPS