Shin-Soo Choo, Left Field, Texas Rangers, #17
Date of Birth: 7/13/1982
Birthplace: Pusan, South Korea
Shin Soo Choo, left fielder for the Texas Rangers, started as a pitcher in Korea. In 2000, he won the MVP award in the World Junior Baseball Championship. After that, he signed with the Seattle Mariners and played in their minor league system from 2001 through 2005. He played in just 10 games with the Mariners in 2005.
The Mariners traded Choo to the Cleveland Indians after just five games with them in 2006. He spent most of the season in the minor leagues, playing in only 45 games with the Indians. The following year, he suffered an injury and had surgery that limited his playing time with the Indians to just six games. In 2008, he batted .309 in 94 games with the Indians.
In February, 2009, Choo signed a one-year contract with the Indians. That year, he batted .300 with a career high 175 hits, 38 doubles, 20 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases in 156 games. He had an even better season in 2010 when he again batted .300 with career highs in home runs (22), RBIs (90), and stolen bases (22).
Choo suffered from a thumb fracture and back problems in 2011 and he played in just 85 games that season. The following year, he batted .283 with a career high 43 doubles. In December, 2012, the Indians traded him to the Cincinnati Reds.
In 2013, Choo batted .285 with 162 hits, 34 doubles, 21 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in 154 games. He was a starting center fielder for the first time in his career and he made 349 putouts and 4 errors with a .989 fielding percentage in 150 games.
Choo signed a seven-year, $130 million contract with the Rangers in December, 2013. He finished the 2014 season with 110 hits, 19 doubles, and a .242 batting average in 123 games.
Choo hit for the cycle on July 21, 2015. He finished the season with 153 hits, 32 doubles, 22 home runs, 82 RBIs, and a .276 batting average in 149 games. As the Rangers' right fielder, he made 315 putouts and 5 errors in 148 games. He batted .238 with 5 hits, including a home run, and 2 RBIs in 21 at-bats in 5 postseason games.
Choo missed part of the 2016 season with a forearm fracture. He batted .242 with 43 hits in 48 games. In the postseason, he had no hits in 3 at-bats in 1 game.
In 2017, Choo batted .261 in 149 games with the Rangers. He finished the season with 142 hits, 20 doubles, 22 home runs, 78 RBIs, and 134 strikeouts to 77 walks. Defensively, as the Rangers' right fielder in 77 games, he made 151 putouts and 4 errors.
Statistics for Choo in 12 seasons (2006-2017) in the major leagues include:
- 5 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 175 in 2009
- 5 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 43 in 2012
- 5 seasons with 20 or more home runs, with a high of 22 in 2010 and 2015
- 4 seasons with 20 or more stolen bases, with a high of 22 in 2010, 2015, and 2017
- 2 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .309 in 94 games in 2008
Career batting statistics for Choo through 2017 include:
- 1,322 games played
- 1,348 hits
- 275 doubles
- 168 home runs
- 644 RBIs
- 1,225 strikeouts to 685 walks
- .278 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Choo as a right fielder through 2017 include:
- 868 games played
- 1,746 putouts
- 32 errors
- .983 fielding percentage
Choo and his wife Won-mi Ha have three children.