2014 Fantasy Baseball Steal of the Draft: OF Shin-Soo Choo
Shin-Soo Choo has been one of the most consistent leadoff hitters in fantasy baseball. In 2013, Choo’s fantasy value rose greatly as he was hitting in front of Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto for the Cincinnati Reds. Now with the Texas Rangers, Choo will be one of the top-15 outfielders selected in 2014 fantasy leagues.
After spending seven years with the Cleveland Indians, Choo was traded to the Reds. He signed a one-year deal and made that one year count. He his 21 home runs and 34 doubles while also stealing 20 bases. He was second in the National League with a .234 OBP and 107 runs scored. Choo is also a patient hitter, which led to his 112 walks, 29 more than his previous career high.
Choo signed a seven-year deal with the Rangers in December. He will be the leadoff hitter, batting in front of Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. Pitchers won’t be able to pitch around Choo, which will increase his OBP and runs scored. He may also see an increase in home runs, but a repeat performance of his 2013 season is unlikely. Choo will turn 32 in the middle of the 2014 season.
Despite the possibility of a decline, Choo will should be drafted as a top-15 outfielder. He has the potential to put up close to 20 home runs and is more than likely to steal 20 bases. An on-base percentage very close to .415 is all but guaranteed, especially with the Rangers lineup.
Choo is an OF2 in standard leagues. He can provide help in every hitting category. In early mock drafts, Choo fell to the fifth round, which is a steal for a player of his caliber. If you draft Choo, expect a .280 average, .410 OBP, 17 home runs, 21 steals and 118 runs scored.