Is Shin-Soo Choo The Boost The Giants Are Looking For?
Last season, it was no big secret the San Francisco Giants had trouble getting runs out of their left fielders. The offensive production from that position was atrocious, sitting at dead last in the Major Leagues in runs (56), home runs (5), and OPS (.651). With the league averages substantially higher (82, 19, .735), the Giants need a serious upgrade.
Throughout the season, the Giants attempted to utilize various call-ups such as Francisco Peguero and Kensuke Tanaka, who showed great promise defensively, but simply could not contribute with the bat, especially when it came to hitting for power. Therefore, this offseason the Giants need to take a hard look at some of the options 0ut there, and jump on it. One free agent that sticks out is Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo, 31 years old, brings the power and consistency the Giants are looking for in a left fielder. With an .885 OPS and 21 homers, Choo is one of the top offensive left fielders on the market. With his addition, the Giants would not be losing the speed that guys like Gregor Blanco and Peguero bring to the table, having swept 20 bases last season. It is the third time in his career he has stolen 20+, and he is a threat any time he reaches base.
If San Francisco wants to make a run at winning their third World Series in five years, they are going to have to improve their offensive output. Last season, they scored a total of 629 runs, 89 less than the previous championship season (718). Granted Pagan stays healthy, and Pence produces in his corner, any increase in production out of left field could boost this offense that struggled last season. With the pitching staff shaping up, a consistent offense to complement it is about all the San Francisco Giants need to be a contender yet again. Shin-Soo Choo may be just the man they need.