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« Four from the Bill Chuck Files... | Main | Zack Greinke to get elbow examination and more top stories »
Monday
Mar112013

Leading off for Cincy, Shin-Soo Choo

Last season, National League leadoff batters hit .257, led by the Colorado Rockies at .279

Last season, National League leadoff batters scored  1528 runs, that's an average of 95.5 runs per leadoff batter. The Giants leadoff batters scored 120 runs.

Last season, no National League team leadoff batters hit lower than the Cincinnati Reds at .208.

Last season, the Marlins leadoff batters scored a league low 80 runs.

But frequently you are judged by the company you keep - the Reds scored 83 runs, the same as the Pirates and the Astros. That's not good company for the Reds.

Here are last year's leadoff batters for the Reds: 

Now leading off for the Reds, Shin-Soo Choo.

On December 11, 2012: Choo was part of a 3-team trade as he went from the Cleveland Indians with Jason Donald and cash to the Cincinnati Reds. The Arizona Diamondbacks sent Matt Albers, top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer and Bryan Shaw to the Cleveland Indians. The Cincinnati Reds sent 23-year old shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Drew Stubbs to the Indians. The Cleveland Indians sent Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp to the Diamondbacks.

For the Reds this was all about acquiring about Choo and his .373 OBP as their leadoff batter. To be successful, it is critical that Choo reduces his 21.9% strikeout rate (the same as Alex Rodriguez) and maintaining his 10.6% walk rate (Mike Trout's rate was 10.5%).

Choo hit .283 last season, decent but his .353 BAbip was inordinately high for those results. Last season, David Freese hit .293 with a .352 BAbip and Carlos Gonzalez hit .303 also with a .352 BAbip.

Over the last five seasons, Choo has averaged 3.98 pitches per plate appearances and last season it was 4.09 (Trout's was 4.08).

Last season, Choo hit 16 homers and yesterday he hit his first home run as a Red. But while the 15-20 homers that he is capable of hitting is a bonus, he has one GOB (an acronym pronounced: JOB).

And that GOB acronym is simple: with Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick , Jay Bruce, and Zack Cozart hitting behind him, as Choo adjusts to playing centerfield, for the Reds to suceed, Choo just needs to Get On Base.


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