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Can Shin-Soo Choo get it done in CF for Cincinnati?
Shin-Soo Choo was an excellent addition for the Reds during the offseason. He will immediately sure up the Achilles that was leadoff in the Reds batting lineup. But Choo, whose natural position is in right field, will be expected to make the switch to center field to replace the departed Drew Stubbs.
An article posted by Jeff Sullivan on FanGraphs.com seems to think this could become a major challenge for Choo and the Reds.
Fans may be surprised to hear that Drew Stubbs actually ranked near the bottom in most major defensive metrics in center field last season. His 2.25 range factor ranked him 20 out of 21 qualifying center fielders. His 0.5 dWAR placed him in an eight-way tie for 24 out of 40 eligible players—again, nothing special.
By comparison, Choo posted a 2.03 range factor in right field (12 of 17 qualifying players) while posting a -1.9 dWAR. That negative dWAR is off the charts—literally—and in a bad way.
You can form your own opinion, but this looks like a weakness to me. In a park where the balls fly, defense is essential and was essential to the staff's 3.34 team ERA.