Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has been one of the most underrated players in baseball ever since he broke into the league in 2006.
He owns a stellar .289/.389/.466 career slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage). Most remarkable is his career .389 OBP.
As you know, Posey has been an on-base machine since his arrival in the big leagues, and Huff’s 2010 season, in which he frequently got on base, led the Giants to their first World Series title in San Francisco history.
The great news for San Francisco Giants fans is that Choo is a free agent after the 2013 season. He’s quietly having a huge year for the Cincinnati Reds, slashing .291/.425/.472. That’s right. Choo has gotten on base in 42.5 percent of his plate appearances this season. Talk about value.
Although Choo is considered a below-average outfielder, he has a strong arm and the Reds have been using him in center field this season. The Giants would put him in left field, a less defensively demanding position.
Once the Giants re-sign right fielder Hunter Pence, which they must do, Choo should be their top priority. Choo would play left, with Angel Pagan in center and Pence in right. That would be one of the best outfields in the National League. It would have above-average speed (Pagan, Pence), power (Pence), average (Choo, Pagan, Pence), OBP (Choo), range (Pagan, Pence) and arms (Choo, Pence).
And the lineup would look something like this:
- Pagan (S) CF
- Choo (L) LF
- Posey (R) C
- Brandon Belt (L) 1B
- Pence (R) RF
- Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
- Marco Scutaro (R) 2B
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
Belt and Sandoval could switch places in the lineup depending on who’s having a better season. Notice the alternating left-handed/right-handed pattern. This is ideal for a lineup as it prevents opposing managers from using specialists like Javier Lopez to shut down a string of consecutive left-handed hitters.
The lineup above is a winning lineup that would win a lot of games. It’s complete and it’s deep.
On the pitching side, expect the Giants to re-sign Tim Lincecum, pick up Ryan Vogelsong’s $6.5 million club option and sign any two of the following free agents: Ervin Santana, Paul Maholm, Josh Johnson, A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo.
The Giants’ large home ballpark allows them to turn good pitching into great pitching. That’s why it’s more important that the team spend its money on Choo rather than a marquee starting pitching free agent.
San Francisco already has proven aces Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain on the staff, not to mention Lincecum, should they re-sign him (as they likely will). The team needs only to fill out the rotation with quality middle-of-the-rotation guys to form a complete starting staff.
While the Giants have many holes to fill before they can enter the 2014 season with confidence, Choo would complete the team offensively and give the Giants their best chance at winning three titles in five seasons.
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!