When the Cincinnati Reds plugged the trigger on making a trade for Shin-Soo Choo this offseason, there was a lot of excitement in the Queen City about what could happen in 2013. With spring training now getting underway, Choo is going to have to prove himself in a new league after moving over from the Cleveland Indians and the American League to the National League. That transition may not be as smooth as Choo hopes it will be.
There is now a whole new set of pitchers that Choo will have to learn to adapt to. There were inter-league games where Choo saw many of those pitchers but remember that Cleveland’s main inter-league rival was Cincinnati so the one NL team he would be most familiar with is the team he is now playing with. Choo also has a position change ahead of him going from right field to center field. That will impact his offensive numbers at least in the first year because he is going to be thinking about his defense more than the offense to start.
The move was smart by the Reds to get Choo, he is a solid hitter even at age 30 and should be a very good leadoff hitter in Cincinnati. I fear that fans are going to get on Choo right away though if he doesn’t produce at the plate the way they hope right off the bat. Hopefully Choo will use every chance he gets in center field to refine his defensive skills or the Reds are going to be forced to make a switch in their outfield positioning.