Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The mysterious case of Shin-Soo Choo

Remember when the Mariners had a kid coming up from the farm system from Korea? He played the outfield and generated a little buzz in the minors. His numbers were never spectacular but scouts liked his game and he eventually made the majors when the big club was forced to play kids more than usual because they sucked.

The general consensus among fans of the team was 4th outfielder at best. This is what we had heard was his ceiling coming in and he certainly did little to discourage that thinking upon arrival. I still remember a few "curious" routes he took on fly balls, and remember thinking he doesn't hit that well and struggles playing defense. I wasn't all that impressed.

The first sign I should have re-evaluated my position was probably when we heard Cleveland was interested in him. When Cabrera was traded to Cleveland I feared we were giving up a really good infielder, and my fear was justified. With Choo I should have asked more questions.

New Rule: When Cleveland wants one of your prospects, watch out. They more often than not know what they are doing.

Last season saw Choo go on a tear after the all star break, and he is all of 26. Would I take Choo back? In a heartbeat. Did I misjudge his talent potential? Yes.

Rule #2. When your team is bad, make the hard decision to play your kids. Don't let one or two month sample sizes sway your opinion. (This goes both ways. Just because a kid comes up and hits 5 home runs his first week doesn't change a thing.)

So remember these rules when you hear fans crying for Clement to be traded. This team won't be all that good this year and it's the perfect time to see what kids can do.

This team can't afford to give up on talent too easily.