Choo Shin Soo is Ready for The New Season
D-Bo, Jan. 16, 2014, 11:48 a.m.
Korean baseball player Choo Shin Soo recently spoke to reporters at the Incheon Airport as he was preparing to leave Seoul for his new contract with the Texas Rangers in the Major League Baseball. The outfielder signed a seven year $130 million contract with the Rangers last month, becoming the highest paid Asian player in the league’s history.
The 31-year-old enjoyed his most productive season in 2013. In his lone season with the Cincinnati Reds, Choo ranked second in the National League in on-base percentage (.423), walks (112) and runs scored (107). All marks were his career-highs. Choo also put together his third 20-20 season with 21 homers and 20 steals.
These solid numbers led to a big pay day with Texas, where Choo will mostly bat leadoff and play left field. Position players for the Rangers will report to the spring training on Feb. 19 in Arizona, and will have their first workout the following day. Choo said he will report to the camp even before that so he can gel with his new teammates early.
In Cincinnati last year, Choo became the full-time leadoff man for the first time in his career, and shifted from right field to center field on defense. Advanced metrics rated him among the worst outfielders in all of baseball, but Choo has said he's confident he can make adjustments in left field. Choo led all of baseball by getting hit by 26 pitches. He said he doesn't want to get nailed so often this year.