Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shin-Soo Choo 2009

After looking over Shin-Soo Choo's statistics, I'm no longer beating myself up quite as much for letting him slip to pick #258 in my recent mock draft. Yes, it was a mistake, and I should have picked him instead of Lyle Overbay. But no, Choo is probably not a superstar. On the plus side, Choo has hit around .300 in the majors the past two seasons and has decent power. On the other hand, his power isn't really exceptional and his minor league record suggests that if anything he may not be quite as good as he's appeared in limited at bats in the majors in 2007 and 2008. The real surprise for me is that he's already 26 years old. I had the impression that he was several years younger than that. I know that a lot of 'experts' point to age 27 as the most likely year for for breakouts, but they're misunderstanding the research. Age 27 is the peak of the aging curve. It's the year when hitters are mostly likely to be at their best. But the slope of the curve gets very gentle at the top, and age 27 is only slightly better than age 26 (or age 28) on average. True breakouts are much more likely in substantially younger players, as the slope of the skills curve is steeper the further away from age 27 you go. This is all a way of saying that Choo isn't really a breakout candidate. He's a pretty good hitter who is likely to get just very slightly better than he is now. An excellent pick at #258, but not that likely to make or break anyone's season in 2009.

1 comment:

Schruender said...

I hate the age 27 argument. It's like this light just goes on all of a sudden because a player's turned another year older.

Your assessment of Choo seems fair to me.