Despite posting a 20-20 season as recently as 2013, last season left just about every Shin-soo Choo owner more than a little disappointed. We saw his strikeout rate jump six percent and as a result he was sat down on strikes in nearly a quarter of his plate appearances. Choo’s isolated slugging plummeted over 40 points, his home run total was nearly cut in half and he nabbed just three steals in seven attempts. Let’s just say 2014 wasn’t a banner year for Choo. The Rangers brought about an early  (and some may say merciful) ending to his year as he was shut down in late August due to bone spurs in his left elbow. Beyond the somewhat explainable platoon woes — Choo has never really hit southpaws very well — the biggest issue has been his batted ball distribution. After a slow start this year, Choo has rebounded somewhat, and a large reason why is that he has gone back to hitting for power to the pull field. Observe the table below, showing his power numbers for the past four seasons when pulling the ball.

 Year HR/FB FB% SLG ISO wRC+
2012 50.0% 9.9% .525 .219 126
2013 57.1% 9.8% .455 .210 87
2014 37.5% 6.3% .346 .110 54
2015 57.1% 13.5% .573 .291 128

The biggest outlier is clearly the power numbers last season. For what it’s worth, Choo has been awesome the opposite way and up the middle during the same time span. While we lack specific batted ball distance splits, Baseball Heat Maps shows from 2012-15, Choo’s fly ball distance per season were 285 feet, 286 feet, 291 feet and 302 this season. No real issue there either.

Choo currently owns a modest (read: not great) .279 BABIP, 30 points below last year’s number and nearly 60 points below his career average rate. I don’t think he’s going to post a .340 BABIP again given he’s in his age-32 season, and he turns 33 in less than a week, but a low-.300’s BABIP seems likely going forward due to the fact he’s at least not hitting weak dribblers. Working within the 2012-present timetable, Choo has had a lower than league average soft contact rate every season.

 Year Soft% Medium% Hard%
Choo 2012 8.0 % 61.9 % 30.1 %
League 2012 15.4 % 55.8 % 28.9 %
Choo 2013 10.0 % 59.6 % 30.4 %
League 2013 14.9 % 54.3 % 30.9 %
Choo 2014 12.8 % 50.6 % 36.6 %
League 2014 17.9 % 52.6 % 29.5 %
Choo 2015 13.2 % 55.2 % 31.6 %
League 2015 18.2 % 53.0 % 28.9 %

I am a bit concerned at some of his swing profile information, particularly how Choo is chasing 27.2 percent of the time out of the strikezone and his 72.9 percent contact rate both represent his worst numbers since 2006. His speed is clearly on the decline as well, given Choo has attempted just one steal and was thrown out in the process. Even without the speed, plus the need to sit him against left-handed pitchers, I’m buying into this mini-bounce back from Choo. He’s already at 11 dingers and seems likely to post a 20-home run season once again. Choo still has the best value in on-base percentage or points leagues, but even in standard 5×5 formats he should be owned in all but 10-team mixed leagues. Probably as a hangover from last year and his iffy start this season, Choo is owned in less than 60 percent of both Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. If you’re looking for a bit of power and some OBP, in this case, beggars can be Choo-sers.

 

 

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Stantonovation
Stantonovation
6 years ago

Drop hunter for Choo?

stantonovation
stantonovation
Reply to  Davidwiers
6 years ago

@Davidwiers:

it’s standard with OBP and XBH as additional categories
(Also QS as a category)

Choo just got dropped, deciding if the switch is worth a move (5 per week)

Andre
Andre
6 years ago

Davidwiers. Great write up.….trade question for you.

10 team, H2H categories, keeper league, keep 5 players forever……Counting stats are H, HR, RBI, Avg, Steals, R, and BB…..W, L, ERA, Whip, QS, Saves, and Ks

Coming off a title last year, this year I’m scraping the bottom. It’s about time to set it up for next year and I have a pretty decent keeper base so far with Kershaw, Springer, Donaldson, and Correa. I was offered this trade:

My Freeman, Harvey, and 10th round pick
For
His Carlos Gomez, Tehran, 2nd round and 8th round pick.

My fifth keeper would have been between Freeman and Harvey so this at least answers that question. However prior to Freeman’s injury, he was playing at an All Star level while Gomez has been hurt/struggling. Also, the fact that Freeman is only 26 while Gomez is 29 going to be 30…so that factors in as well. The most I can probably get out of this owner is C. Rodon thrown in on his side….I’m also trying to see if I can swap out Gomez for Betts. Assuming the trade comes down to either Gomez with the possible addition of Rodon. Do you pull the trigger here? Would Gomez be a good bet to be worth a keeper spot for say, 3 more years? Thanks!

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Hello DW:
I need to add an OF for Springer. My options are Carlos Gonzalez or Alex Gordon. What are your thoughts?
Thanks much!

Alex
Alex
Reply to  Davidwiers
6 years ago

@Davidwiers:

DW: with Gordon now probably heading to DL, should I pick up C Gonzalez? Just noticed in my league as of this morning, Kemp, M Cabrera, H Pence, B Belt, and B Moss are available. Your thoughts? Thanks.

e
e
6 years ago

Need some help – what would you do with this roster? My outfield is getting crowded. 12 team, H2H, R, HR, RBI, SB, TB, AVG, OBP are the hitting categories

C – Lucroy
1B- Jose Abreu
2B – Joe Panik
3B – Josh Donaldson
SS – Justin Turner
OF – Josh Reddick
OF – Kevin Pillar
OF – Cameron Maybin
UTIL – Lucas Duda
BN – Shin Soo Choo
BN – DJ Lemahieu
DL – Nori Aoki
DL – Hunter Pence
DL – Jayson Werth

Dawgs7
Dawgs7
6 years ago

Thoughts on this trade (5X5 H2H)…

Kuechel, Puig, and Wong for Arenado and Dee Gordon?

seth
seth
6 years ago

i have Choo in a 9-team 5×5 league (OBP instead of AVG). in a vacuum (i.e. my backup OF spot) should i drop him for someone on the waivers right now? options include Alex Gordon, Josh Harrison, Brandon Moss, Granderson, Markakis….? my other OFs currently are Harper, Yelich, Springer (DL), Belt, Zobrist. thanks…

Fister Furbush
Fister Furbush
6 years ago

Would you trade Brantley and Garret Richards
For
Jose Bautista and Montgomery?

Points league….
My OF is-
A.Jones
Cespedes
Brantley
Ellsbury

My SP is
Price
Harvey
DeGrom
Lester
Samardizja
Syndegaard
McCullers
Richards

At this point I feel like I can risk trading for Bautista because of my depth. The only thing that worries me is Richards performing really well in the second half.

What would you do?

RUNNING THROUGH THE 6 WITH MY WOEZ
RUNNING THROUGH THE 6 WITH MY WOEZ
Reply to  Davidwiers
6 years ago

@Davidwiers:

Thanks man

TheOne
TheOne
Reply to  Fister Furbush
6 years ago

@Fister Furbush:

Didnt even mention the article smh which is the least you can do if you’re going to try to use the man as you free fantasy advisor.

And no I wouldn’t do that trade.