Originally Posted by cincinnati chili
It depends on how big your list is for the best players in baseball. If we're talking top 10, no. I'd say he's roughly somewhere in the range of 50th to 75th most valuable player (including pitchers) in the major leagues and that he's more valuable than all of our offensive players except Votto, although you could make an argument for Phillips. Evidence:
Of all outfielders with at least 500 plate appearances last year, he had the 16th highest runs created per 27 outs
. As an aside, Drew Stubbs was the worst.
Of all the outfielders with at least 1000 plate appearances over the last 3 years, he is #12 in RC27.
Considering that by my count, there are 90 starting outfielders playing in the major leagues at any given time, that puts him in the 86th offensive percentile, which makes him very good. Conservatively, it makes him just about a top 100 player. But because of his good defense (or perhaps, better stated, the subpar defense of some of many of the guys who hit better than he does), I'd rank him in the top 75 for sure.
Here is the list of the 12 outfielders who have hit better than Choo over the last 3 years (as measured by RC27), followed by the 16 who hit better than him last year. By the way, I agree with the person who said that Swisher was a good comp for the type of contract Choo could have expected if he had hit free agency this offseason. Their RC27 is nearly the same (Swisher a smidge higher) both last year and over the last 3 years. However, Swisher is a couple years older.
Outfielders who have been better offensive players than Choo over last 3 seasons (with at least 1000 total PAs)
Outfielders who were better offensive players than Choo last year (with at least 500 PAs)
Let me put it this way, if Choo isn't "great," then the only "great" non-pitcher on this roster is Joey Votto.
I think that's very fair. Choo is not one of the top-30 players in baseball, but he's certainly top 75. I would put him in the "good" category, definitely not "great." And yes, I think Votto is the only offensive player on the Reds' roster that holds the mantle of "great."
Let's all hope Choo's recent decline isn't a trend. I was unfortunate enough to have the guy on my fantasy team (money league) the last 2 years. Ha. Not that he was terrible, but you had to draft him early to get him, or pay a lot of money at auctions. Just had the feeling he was an overrated guy in 2011 and 2012.
Classic Walt though ... he bought low on Choo for sure. If we get the 2009 and 2010 version of Choo -- when he had OPS' of .883 and .885 -- as opposed to the 2011 and 2012 version -- when he had OPS' of .733 and .815 -- we're going to be a happy bunch of Reds fans for sure.
But Choo great? Not when he posts a .733 OPS one year, then follows it up with .815. He was approaching greatness after his 2009 and 2010 seasons, but we've seen a sharp decline in his numbers the last two years. I think GABP might be just the thing to get him turned around, but Cleveland's park is also known as a hitter's park (not as much as GABP though, of course). And that even helps players when they're on the road too. Their confidence is high from hitting well at home and then they hit well on the road too. I expect a bounce-back year from Choo, I just think a lot of people who think he's a great player are setting themselves up for disappointment. I know it was fantasy ball, but I followed him very closely for two full seasons and he was a big disappointment.