Shin-Soo Choo: OF's All-Around Ability Makes Reds Lineup More Potent

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 22:  Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Cleveland Indians lines the ball into the Kansas City Royals outfield in the sixth inning on September 22, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds' offense would have been fine next season without any new additions, but it got even better Tuesday night.

CBS' Jon Heyman announced the three-way trade that had baseball fans turning their heads:

indians receive bauer, albers, shaw and stubbs. reds get choo and donald. dbacks get gregorius, sipp and lars anderson.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 12, 2012

Out of all those names, Choo's stands out the most. He's one of the league's most underrated players, but his talents were mostly wasted on an unsuccessful Cleveland squad.

Last season, Choo hit .283 with 16 home runs and 67 RBI. He also stole 21 bases.

When you look at who he is replacing in Drew Stubbs, it's obvious how much he will upgrade the Reds' offense. Stubbs' .277 on-base percentage is almost 100-points lower than Choo's, which should make everyone hopeful that the Reds will have more runners on base when their power hitters come to the plate.

Defensively, it's uncertain how Choo will adjust to playing center field, but he has been a very successful right fielder, so the potential is there. 

Stubbs was a nightmare at the top of the order. He boasted a ton of speed and athleticism, but he was never consistent at the plate. When your supposed table setter can't get on base, that kills an offense before it even gets started.

Choo isn't a superstar, but he's a very solid player. He has power, even if it is a little less than Stubbs', and he's a better contact hitter. For a team that has more than enough power to go around, this move makes sense.

Reds fans were always left waiting for Stubbs to realize his upside, but it never happened. Choo already has. He's only under contract through the end of this season, so his future is uncertain, but he will make the team better overall next year. 

The only possible hang up could be his ability to transition on defense, but one thing is for sure. He's going to get on base and facilitate a Reds lineup that has more than enough bats to bring him home.

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