Choo at bat for the Cleveland Indians
|Cincinnati Reds – No. 17|
July 13, 1982 |
Busan, South Korea
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|April 21, 2005 for the Seattle Mariners|
(through May 15, 2013)
|Runs batted in||392|
|Career highlights and awards|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Silver||2009 Los Angeles||Team|
Choo running to home plate in 2008.
|Revised Romanization||Chu Sin-su|
Choo was selected as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Best Pitcher of the 2000 World Junior Baseball Championship as South Korea won the event. Choo signed a $1.35 million contract with the Mariners after the championship and converted to the outfield.
2005–2006: Seattle Mariners 
Choo made his Major League Baseball debut with the Seattle Mariners on April 21, with the Class A affiliate for the Seattle Mariners the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2005, but spent most of the 2005 season and the first half of the 2006 season in the minor leagues with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers. He batted .068 in a handful of major league at-bats over two years. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians along with minor leaguer Shawn Nottingham on July 26, 2006, for first baseman Ben Broussard.
2006: Cleveland Indians 
Two days after being traded, Choo hit a solo home run against his former club in a 1–0 Indians victory. In 45 games with the Indians, he batted .295 (43 for 146) with three home runs and 22 RBIs.
He spent the first few weeks of the 2007 regular season with the Buffalo Bisons, a Triple-A team in the International League affiliated with the Indians, before being called up on April 23, 2007, to take the place of the injured third baseman Andy Marté. He was optioned back to Buffalo on May 3. Choo missed several months of the 2007 season due to injury and in September 2007 underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.
In the 2008 season, Choo was called up on May 31 and spent the rest of the season with the Indians. He finished the season (after 317 at-bats) with a .309 batting average, 98 hits, 14 home runs, and 66 RBIs. His hit and RBI totals were also a new record by a Korean-born player in the MLB. Thanks to a hot September where he put up a .400 batting average, 34 hits, 5 home runs, and 24 RBIs, Choo was named the AL Player of the Month.
In February 2009, he signed a one-year contract with the Indians. During that season, he broke his own records for home runs, RBIs, stolen bases and hits. On July 3, Choo hit two home runs and a career-high seven RBIs in an Indians 15–3 victory over the Oakland Athletics. On October 3, 2009, Choo hit his twentieth homer off of Paul Byrd of the Boston Red Sox, thus joining the 20-20 club. He is the first Asian to accomplish this feat in the Major Leagues. He was also the only player in the AL to have a .300 average, 20 home runs, and 20 stolen bases at the same time. He finished the season with 20 home runs, 21 steals, 86 RBIs, and a .300 batting average.
On February 26, 2010, Choo hired baseball agent Scott Boras. Choo became eligible for arbitration after the 2010 season and will become a free agent after the 2013 season. Choo hit three home runs in a road game against the Kansas City Royals on September 17, 2010. He first hit a two-run homer 420 ft to right in the top of the fourth inning. In his next at bat he hit a towering grand slam to deep center. In the top of the eighth Choo hit a 405 ft solo homer over the right field wall. Choo finished the game a three-run homer away from the elusive "home run cycle". On September 19, 2010, Choo again reached the 20-20 club of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases for the second straight year. He also led the AL right fielders in assists with 14.
Choo showed promise in spring training, hitting for a .322 average with three home runs in 19 games. However, Choo's season fell apart quickly. In what was his worst statistical season as an Indian, Choo finished the season with eight home runs, a .259 batting average, 12 stolen bases, and 36 RBIs while accumulating 78 strikeouts and 36 walks in 313 at-bats. On June 24th, Choo was hit by San Francisco Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on his left thumb. The resulting fracture kept him out for six weeks. In mid-September, Choo suffered severe back pains which put him once again on the disabled list on September 15, which ended his season..
On April 14 in a game against the Kansas City Royals which would see bench clearings by both teams, Choo was hit by Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez on his right knee. It was a pitch from Sanchez that hit Choo in 2011, resulting in a broken thumb and nearly two months on the disabled list. Choo would finish the game and win it for the Indians in the tenth inning when he hit a two-run double. On April 24, Choo left in the eighth inning in a game versus the Royals after suffering a mild hamstring strain. Choo would return on May 2 in a 6–3 Indians win versus the Chicago White Sox. On May 24 in series finale home game against the Detroit Tigers, Choo hit a second-deck home run off of Tigers starter Justin Verlander in the first inning. That was Choo's first career lead-off home run. The Indians won that game 2-1, finishing the sweep against the Tigers.
2013: Cincinnati Reds 
On December 11, 2012, Choo was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Jason Donald in a three team, nine player deal also involving the Arizona Diamondbacks. The trade brought Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers, Bryan Shaw, and Drew Stubbs to the Cleveland Indians. On February 11, 2013, Choo avoided arbitration with his new team, the Reds, by agreeing to a one-year, $7.375 million deal, the exact midpoint between both sides. In April 2013, Choo set a Reds franchise record for most hit by pitches in a month.
World Baseball Classic 
Choo was on the 2009 World Baseball Classic Korean roster. Cleveland allowed Choo to play under the condition that he play only one game or less as an outfielder in the first round, and only in two non-consecutive games of the second round. Cleveland lifted this restriction from the semifinals on, and Choo started as an outfielder in the semifinal match against Venezuela. He helped Korea win 10-2 against Venezuela with a three-run home run against Carlos Silva in the first inning. He also contributed a solo home run in the fifth inning at the finals against Hisashi Iwakuma of Japan, where Korea lost to Japan 5–3.
Drunk driving arrest 
Early on the morning on Monday, May 4, 2011, Choo was arrested and charged with drunk driving in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. Pulled over by police around 2:25am because of his vehicle weaving, Choo's blood alcohol content (via Breathalyzer test) was reportedly 0.20%, more than twice the legal limit in the state.
- "Transactions – April 2007". Mlb.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- "Transactions – May 2007". Mlb.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- "Shin-Soo Choo Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". Mlb.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Hoynes, Paul (February 2, 2009). "Cleveland Indians sign nine to one-year contracts". Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH: Advanced Media). Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- Adams, Luke (February 26, 2010). "Shin-Soo Choo Hires Scott Boras". Mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
- "Shin-Soo Choo Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Hoynes, Paul (April 10, 2012). "Shin-soo Choo praising thumb guard after another HBP". Plain Dealer. Cleveland, OH: Advance Media. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- "Indians hang on to beat Royals 11–9 in 10 innings". SI.com. New York, NY: Time Warner. April 14, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Bastian, Jordan (April 28, 2012). "Indians remain cautious with injured Choo". Mlb.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- "Santana, Hafner homer as Indians beat White Sox". SI.com (New York, NY: Time Warner). Associated Press. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben (February 11, 2013). "Reds, Choo Avoid Arbitration". MLB Trade Rumors.
- "Choo’s HR lifts Reds over Braves". Channel A. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Castrovince, Anthony (March 4, 2009). "Choo's injury complicated for Indians". Mlb.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- "Indians' Choo charged with DUI". SI.com (New York, NY: Time Warner). May 3, 2011.
- "Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo apologizes to team, fans for DUI arrest". Plain Dealer (Advance Media). May 3, 2011.
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