When Shin-Soo Choo first arrived to the Cincinnati Reds, he appeared to be just what they needed to go deep into the postseason. Throughout the month of April, Choo was one of the best players in baseball. He hit an incredible .337/.477/.554 with 4 homers and 11 RBIs, giving the Reds the leadoff production they’ve lacked for so many years.
However, with the month of May came a change for Choo. He was still getting on pace at a good clip, with a .411 OBP, and actually improved his power production to the tune of 6 homers for the month, but his average had fallen to .240, and his slugging percentage had dipped to .469, mostly due to the fact that he only hit 4 doubles in the entire month. While this was definitely unfortunate, Choo did have a .385 BABIP throughout the month of April, so some regression to the mean was to be expected. Everyone figured that he would kick it up again in June.
That didn’t happen, though, as he had his worst month yet as a Cincinnati Red. For the month, he slashed just .224/.364/.347 with 2 homers and 6 RBIs. Most eye-opening, though, was the decline in his slugging percentage- down from his .554 mark in April to .347 in May, well below his career average of .466. Choo was just having a hard time getting extra base hits.
However, as the weather heated up in July, so did Choo. He’s hit .387/.449/.516 with 5 doubles in the month. He’s currently riding a 15 game hitting streak, including hits in 2 games against tough lefties in Francisco Liriano and Jeff locke, and looks to be back in April form. He still struggles to hit lefties, though, as his .179/.312/.205 (0 homers) slashline indicates. However, he makes up for his inability to hit southpaws by clubbing right handers to the rune of .342/.475/.596 on the year.
The Reds have to hope that Choo can maintain this pace, as his bat is critical in their lineup. His performance could very well determine the fate of the Reds’ postseason run.