Cincinnati Reds’ center fielder Shin-Soo Choo has been on a roll lately, going into the All Star Break on a 12 game hitting streak. While Choo was not selected to be an All Star this year, he will have a long break until the Reds’ next game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Great American Ball Park on July 19.
Choo’s hitting streak places him with a batting average of .394 and a rank of 5th among home run league leaders with 13 home runs. This is one guy who likely doesn’t want to see the All Star Break so he can keep his bat hot. With an On Base Percentage of .425 and 31 RBI’s so far this year, Choo has proven to be an excellent lead off hitter for Cincinnati.
So far this year, Choo has hit between 2 and 7 Home Runs per month adding to the Reds’ offense. He is as effective as Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto on both offense and defense but seems to be immensely under-rated and under-estimated by opponents. If anyone has watched any of Choo’s game footage you’ve probably noticed that most of his Home Runs are hit with the majority slicing above the Left Field wall.
With this hot batting streak comes the dreaded (for Choo anyway) All Star Break. What does this mean for the team and for Choo? All Reds fans are holding their breath that the long break won’t impact Choo’s plate performance. If he continues to hit like he did in the first half of the season, the Reds’ will likely be a contender come October.
Choo’s frame of mind during the All Star Break will be a huge factor on his second half performance. If he can remain as focused as he was the first half of the season then Dusty Baker should have no worries concerning his Center Fielder. Most importantly, Choo can’t afford to get lazy during his break. Whatever his plans for the break are, they should keep him active and in practice. I know, I know. The break doesn’t seem like long enough to affect a professional like Choo, but we’ve seen it many times when players come back for the second half of the season and just aren’t the same.
At this point, Choo has a lot on the line to lose and I think he realizes that. I expect he will be the hard hitting, base stealer we all know and love when the second half of the season starts.