Image of    Nickname:   N/A Position:   RF
Home: N/A Team:   RANGERS
Height: 5' 11" Bats:   L
Weight: 210 Throws:   L
DOB: 7/30/1982 Agent: Scott Boras
Birth City: Pusan, South Korea Draft: 2000 - Mariners - Free agent - Out of So. Korea
Uniform #: 17  
2001 AZL Mariners   51 199 51 60 10 10 4 35 12   34 49     .302
2001 MWL WISCONSIN   3 13 1 6 0 0 0 3 2   1 3     .462
2002 MWL WISCONSIN   119 420 69 127 24 8 6 48 34   70 98     .302
2002 CAL SAN BERNARDINO   11 39 14 12 5 1 1 9 3   9 9     .308
2003 CAL INLAND EMPIRE   110 412 62 118 18 13 9 55 18   44 84     .286
2004 TL SAN ANTONIO   132 517 89 163 17 7 15 84 40   56 97     .315
2005 PCL TACOMA   115 429 73 121 21 5 11 54 20   69 97     .282
2005 Al MARINERS $316.00 10 18 1 1 0 0 0 1 0   3 4     .056
2006 PCL TACOMA   94 375 71 121 21 3 13 48 26 4 45 73 .394 .499 .323
2006 AL MARINERS   4 11 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .167 .182 .091
2006 AL INDIANS   45 146 23 43 11 3 3 22 5 3 18 46 .373 .473 .295
2007 IL BUFFALO BISONS   59 208 34 54 11 2 3 26 10 3 21 40 .328 .375 .260
2007 AL INDIANS   6 17 5 5 0 0 0 5 0 1 2 5 .350 .294 .294
2008 IL BUFFALO   12 42 1 11 2 0 1 3 1 3 5 14   .381 .262
2008 AL INDIANS $390.00 94 317 68 98 28 3 14 66 4 3 44 78 .397 .549 .309
2009 AL INDIANS $420.00 156 583 87 175 38 6 20 86 21 2 78 151 .394 .489 .300
2010 EL AKRON   3 11 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 .091 .091 .091
2010 AL INDIANS $461.00 144 550 81 165 31 2 22 90 22 7 83 118 .401 .484 .300
2011 MWL LAKE COUNTY   3 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000
2011 AL INDIANS $3,975.00 85 313 37 81 11 3 8 36 12 5 36 78 .344 .390 .259
2012 AL INDIANS $4,900.00 155 598 88 169 43 2 16 67 21 7 73 150 .373 .441 .283
2013 NL REDS $7,375.00 154 569 107 162 34 2 21 54 20 11 112 133 .423 .462 .285
2014 AL RANGERS $14,000.00 123 455 58 110 19 1 13 40 3 4 58 131 .340 .374 .242
2015 AL RANGERS $14,000.00 149 555 94 153 32 3 22 82 4 2 76 147 .375 .463 .276
2016 AL RANGERS $20,000.00 48 178 27 43 7 0 7 17 6 3 25 46 .357 .399 .242
2016 TL FRISCO   6 20 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 .417 .350 .300
2016 PCL ROUND ROCK   3 11 2 6 1 0 1 5 1 1 1 0 .583 .909 .545
2017 AL RANGERS $20,000.00 149 544 96 142 20 1 22 78 12 3 77 134 .357 .423 .261
2018 AL RANGERS   21 85 14 21 6 0 5 10 1 0 9 19 .323 .494 .247
  • Choo went to South Korea's Pusan High School, which had a baseball academy that was run like a boot camp: There were 5:00 a.m. wake-up calls, morning practices, afternoon practices, and grueling hours in the weight room at night. The boys lived on campus and saw their families on Sundays.

    "We didn't study. All we did was play baseball, think baseball, nothing but baseball," says Choo. "The problem is, if you don't make it in baseball, what do you do?"

    He was 18 years old and "the best amateur pitcher in the world," insists Mariners Pacific Rim operations director Ted Heid.

  • In August 2000, the Mariners signed Choo, even though he didn't graduate from Pusan High School in South Korea until February 2001. 

    He was a legitimate two-way player, capable of both hitting and pitching. He can throw 95 mph, and was named the best pitcher in 1999 and 2000 at the President's Cup—Korea's top high school competition. He also hit .610 with 5 home runs.

    Choo had to do what few ballplayers from his homeland have dared to try: make it in the U.S. "I had to have a big, big dream," he says. "I could have stayed in Korea like everyone else, but I wanted to play the best baseball in the world. No one else wanted to come. They were scared. I wanted to come."

  • Shin-Soo is an exciting player to watch. He works hard, and has adapted well to the American culture. "What I like about America is that all the best players from the world come here to compete, so being involved in that makes me happy," Choo said.

    In 2002, Wisconsin manager Gary Thurman said Choo was just one of the guys. "He’s a great guy," said Thurman, in his third year as Timber Rattlers skipper. "He knows enough English to get him by, and he has fun. He laughs with all the boys, and he takes everything in stride."

  • Before the 2004 season, Baseball America rated Choo as the 5th-best prospect in the Mariners organization.

    Before 2006 spring training, the magazine had Shin-Soo as #7 in the Seattle farm system.

  • For the 2004 season, Shin-Soo ranked in the top four in six of the Texas League's offensive categories.

  • After the 2004 season, Choo did well in the Arizona Fall League with a .301 batting average, three home runs, and 15 RBIs in 23 games.

  • As of 2010, Shin-Soo still owed the South Korean military two years of service. He has a chance to gain an exemption if he plays in the Olympics or Asian games, depending on how South Korea performs. The World Baseball Classic does not count toward his exemption.

    "I worry about my military obligation, but it's secondary on my mind," said Choo.

    But then, when Choo helped South Korea defeat Taiwan on November 19, 2010, capturing the gold in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Shin-Soo became exempt from military conscription.

    "I am kind of dreaming right now," Choo told Korean reporters after the victory. "Honestly, if [I told you] I didn't think about the military service, I might be a liar. But it wasn't the primary reason to join the national team. I love baseball, and whenever I put the national flag on the shoulder, I am really proud of my nation and myself. That's why I want to play for this team. I am representing all the Korean baseball players."

  • Choo has a home in Jnamgu Pusan, South Korea. In 2008, he purchased a home seven miles from the Indians' new spring training site in Goodyear, Arizona. In the off-season before 2009 spring training, he trained there four days a week.

  • July 3, 2009: Shin-Soo became the first Indian since Al Rosen in 1952 to have at least four runs and seven RBI, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Choo went 4-for-5 with two homers, four runs and seven RBI in a 15-3 victory over the A's. Rosen scored four and drove in seven April 29, 1952.

    Choo is the third Major Leaguer since 1945 to notch four runs, seven RBI, and one steal in the same game, joining Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell (May 1968 at the Cubs) and Boston's Ted Williams (June 1949 vs. St. Louis).

  • On September 5, 2009, Shin-Soo's wife, Woon Mi, gave birth to their second child, Aiden. And on August 22, 2011, Won Mi Ha gave birth to their third child, a daughter named Abigail.

  • Choo is the top story in the sports pages and sports websites in Korea every day the Indians play. And you can't walk down the street without seeing someone in an Indians hat or shirt. The Tribe is #1 in Korea. (2010)

  • May 2, 2011: Choo was arrested in the Cleveland suburb of Sheffield Lake on charges of driving under the influence. He was in uniform and in the lineup the next day, but wanted to make sure he issued an apology before taking the field for the Tribe.

    "I want to apologize to my family and my teammates," Choo told reporters, "and to the fans and to the Indians organization. I regret that this happened."

    According to the official police report, a breathalyzer test performed at the Sheffield Lake station determined Choo's blood-alcohol level to be .201—more than double Ohio's legal limit of .08. Prior to being transported to the police station, Choo also failed a handful of field sobriety tests.

    Choo first came into contact with police at 2:25 a.m., according to the report. Initially, the outfielder asked an officer to help him find his way to Avon Lake, Ohio. The officer did not observe the smell of alcohol on Choo at first and agreed to follow the outfielder to make sure he reached his home.

    At one point, Choo pulled off to the side of a road and turned on his hazard lights. He then indicated to an officer that the GPS in his white 2007 Cadillac SUV was not working properly. The officer again informed Choo that he would follow him home, according to the report.

    While the officer followed in a cruiser, he witnessed Choo driving over the road's double yellow line on two separate occasions. He also veered into a bike lane on the opposite side of the road. Choo was then pulled over a second time, at which point the officer noticed his eyes were bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol.

    When he struggled to follow the officer's instructions for field sobriety tests, Choo was arrested. When he was later led out of the station, Choo smashed his personal camera in the parking lot, according to the report.

    Officers also noticed minor damage to the front bumper and driver's side door on Choo's vehicle. Choo was released without bond and driven home.

  • During 2013 spring training, Shin-Soo was wondering how many at-bats he'd be getting in a Cactus League game, so he asked Reds bench coach Chris Speier. When Dusty Baker found out Choo had gone to Speier and not him, he asked Choo why.

    "In Korea," said Choo, a native of Pusan, South Korea, "[the players] don't talk to the manager. The manager is like a god."

    Baker laughed. "Man," Baker replied, "you ain't in Korea now."

  • Choo is pleasant, thoughtful and polite, but his mere presence at the top of Reds' lineup is the club's not-so-subtle way of sending a warning to all foes.  In Choo, the Reds got their leadoff hitter, the catalyst and the producer they so desperately craved and didn't have last season.

    "He's going to be a huge asset to the team, both on the field and in the clubhouse," right fielder Jay Bruce said.

  • A native of Pusan, South Korea, Choo grew up not letting anyone ever out-prepare him—even teammates. His work ethic is one of going full speed—at all times.

    "I don't do it for anybody. I do it for me. That's my routine," Choo said. "I feel like if I'm not doing it, I won't stay in the big leagues anymore. That's what I did in the minor leagues or Korea. I keep thinking, 'How can I do better?' If you do 10 swings, I think, 'How can I do better?' So I might go 11 or 12 swings. Maybe that's Korean culture, to always do more than other players."

    Reds manager Dusty Baker noted, "This guy pushes the envelope big time. I was wondering about that before we got him. Usually you're worried about a guy being lazy and not a worker. This guy is the opposite."

  • Fluent in English, Choo stopped using an interpreter a couple of years into his big league career. It's helped eliminate miscommunication and soften cultural differences. 

    "Sometimes when you have a translator, I will say 100 percent to him, but the translator might not say 100 percent," Choo said. "I knew it would take a lot of time to do it, but I wanted to learn. I want to spend time with my teammates. That's a big part of baseball. Teammates are very important. That's why I didn't play in the WBC. My teammates are like my family.

    "Now I'm really comfortable in the clubhouse. Everyone talks to me and jokes around. Now we're ready to start the season. I can't wait."  Choo's efforts have been noticed, and it earned him clubhouse respect from all corners almost immediately.

    "He's really come over here and taken well to everyone. He's a good guy," fellow outfielder Jay Bruce said.

  • May 29, 2013:  Aside from the obvious—his ability with his bat and arm—Reds manager Dusty Baker didn't know much about the man he now refers to as "Mr. Choo."  One attribute in particular did catch Baker's attention when the skipper saw Choo:  "The clothes he had on, the hairstyle he had . . . I said, 'This guy is pretty cool,'" Baker said.

    Baker can recall each of the seven home runs Choo slugged against Cincinnati from 2008-12. Still, though Choo's talents had shone through against Baker's bunch—the manager opted not to establish any expectations for the 30-year-old upon his arrival to the Queen City.

    Many questioned how Choo would assimilate into the framework of the Reds' lineup and defense. Throughout his seven-year stint in Cleveland, Choo constantly encountered hurdles that handicapped his on-field performance. He has been presented a fresh batch of obstacles in 2012, but the veteran has finally discovered how to free his mind from the shackles of distractions.

    Rarely has Choo been at such peace. In 2010, he directed his native South Korea to the gold medal in baseball at the Asian Games, a feat necessary to make him exempt from having to fulfill a military obligation, which could have forced him to miss time on the field with the Indians. A DUI, a broken thumb, and a strained oblique muscle foiled much of his '11 campaign. His aversion to being hit by pitches—one he has since shaken—and his uncertain future admittedly hindered his focus for parts of the '12 season.

    "My mindset has changed this year," Choo said. "I don't think about the big picture. I don't think about the whole season or entire games. I just think about every pitch. Not even every at-bat. One pitch at a time."

    The mentality has helped Choo—a notoriously slow starter—to a stellar first two months. What has stood out most to Baker, though, is Choo's presence in the clubhouse. "We believed he was a good player," Baker said, "but what we didn't know was that he was a better teammate than he is a player."  Choo's former mates in Cleveland know that first-hand.

    "He played hard, he wanted to win, and you could never dock him for his effort out there," said reliever Joe Smith. "That's all you can ask for."  (Meisel -

  • In 2013, Choo was honored as the recipient of the Reds' Heart & Hustle Award.

    Given out by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, the award is presented to one player on each team who "demonstrates a passion for the game and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game." Bench coach Chris Speier, a former three-time All-Star, presented Choo with the award.

    Along with his play and demeanor on the field, Choo was honored for his work through his foundation (Choo Foundation), which helps disadvantaged people in his native South Korea.

  • In 2014 spring training, Choo introduced a new hitting tool to his new teammates: the iTrac. It’s supposed to improve hand-eye coordination and pitch recognition. 

  • November 10, 2016: The Korea Baseball Organization released South Korea's 28-man roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Four Major Leaguers headline a squad many consider among the favorites in the 16-team field. Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang, and Mariners first baseman/designated hitter Dae-Ho Lee will participate for Korea, which is one of the four host countries. (Joe Trezza -

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics were scheduled to get under way Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo hails from Busan, so it was with that in mind that he was given the honor of helping carry the official Olympic torch from Greece as it continues touring around the country.

  • In 2009, Choo represented S. Korea at the World Baseball Classic, helping his nation to a second-place finish. He also helped Korea win a gold medal at the 2012 Asian games, which helped him earn a military exemption since all South Korean men must complete two years of military service before they are 30.

  • Choo once appeared on South Korean game show "Running Man," where contestants compete in missions and roundabout obstacle courses. Choo was a guest star, not a competitor.

  • Before Choo was knocking pitches out of the park, he was throwing them. That's right, Choo was a pitcher back in the days, and a pretty good one too. He was selected as the Most Valuable Player and Best Pitcher in the 2000 World Junior Baseball Championship, leading South Korea to victory in the event. He converted to the outfield after signing with the Mariners.

  • Inside the Rangers' clubhouse, they understand and appreciate what Shin-Soo means to their team. Outside the clubhouse?

    "I think some people do and some people don't know what he does for us," Adrian Beltre said. "He is one of our leaders. He leads by example. Obviously we know he is a high on-base guy, hit 20-plus home runs, he's going to give you RBI, score a lot of runs. He is a guy you want on your team."  (Sullivan - - 3/9/18)


  • August 2000: The Mariners signed Shin-Soo. The Mariners outbid several teams to sign Choo to a contract believed to be $1.34 million. Jae Lee and Jim Colborn were the scouts who signed him.

  • July 26, 2006: The Indians sent OF Ben Broussard to the Mariners, acquiring Choo and P Shawn Nottingham.

  • January 17, 2012: Choo and the Indians agreed to a one-year, $4.9 million contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

  • December 11, 2012: In a three-team trade, the Indians sent Choo to the Reds. CF Drew Stubbs went from Cincinnati to Cleveland. The Tribe also received RHPs Matt Albers, Trevor Bauer, and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks. Cleveland shipped Choo, INF Jason Donald, and about $3.5 million to the Reds, while sending LHP reliever Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson to Arizona. The D-Backs also received SS Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati.

  • February 11, 2013: Choo and the Reds agreed on a one-year contract for $7.4 million.

  • November 4, 2013: The Reds tendered a $14 million qualifying offer to Choo. But on November 11, Shin-Soo turned it down, becoming a free agent.

  • December 21, 2013: Choo and the Rangers agreed to a seven-year, $130 million contract.
  • Choo is the best five-tool baseball star to come out of Korea. He is a fine hitter for both average and decent power, smacking line drives with a solid batting stroke.

    He hits home runs, and his power is to all fields. He enjoys hitting it out to the opposite field, in fact. His homers are from foul pole to foul pole.

    The "5-tool player" tag gets thrown around a lot. A ballplayer with the ability to hit for average and power, who possesses speed, an excellent glove, and a howitzer of an arm is in reality as rare as the pitcher who can throw triple-digit fastballs with precision. "A-Rod used to be one," said Indians' pitcher Chris Perez. "Cargo is one. There may only be three or four real five-tool guys in the game, and Choo is definitely one."

  • In 2013, Shin-Soo filled a big void the Reds had for a leadoff hitter.

  • Choo's swing generates incredible backspin that provides unexpected power from a guy with such a compact build.

  • Pitchers can sometimes get him out by pounding him inside. But he has learned to stay inside the ball well.

  • Choo has learned to be more aggressive with pitches in the strike zone. He can be too passive at the plate. But he has a good eye.

  • He generates some serious torque. With the torque he generates through his hips, he kind of reminds me of Ken Griffey. He’s a natural hitter. The best thing you can do with a hitter like him is leave him alone and let him hit–don’t try to mess with his swing.

  • In 2009, Shin-Soo became the first Asian player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in one season in MLB history.

  • In 2012, Choo and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers were the only players in the Major Leagues with at least 40 doubles, 15 home runs, and 20 steals. And Shin-Soo joined Roberto Alomar and Grady Sizemore as the only players in Indians history to reach each of those statistical marks in a single season.

  • Choo is not afraid of those inside pitches he sees so often. And on September 9, 2013, he set the Reds franchise record for being hit by pitches, formerly owned by Jason LaRue (24 times in 2004), when Cubs lefty Travis Wood hit Shin-Soo. It was Choo's 25th hit-by-pitch.

  • August 9, 2014: Choo reached the 1,000 MLB career hit list.

  • On July 21, 2015, Choo collected his first career cycle and the eighth in Rangers history.

  • As of the start of the 2018 season, Choo's career Major League stats were: .278 batting average, 168 home runs with 644 RBI's in 4,854 at-bats.
  • Shin-Soo has a truly great arm, and since he also has good range, he is a fine center fielder. But, all things considered, he is probably best in right field with that cannon.
  • Choo displays good instincts in the outfield, but he could stand a little more improvement in his jumps and routes to the ball.

    In 2009, he had trouble with fly balls in the sun during day games. So in 2010 spring training, Grady Sizemore had Choo use flip down sunglasses. They made the sun look a lot smaller, helping a whole lot.

  • As a pitcher, he threw 95 mph. So his arm is a good one. But his accuracy needs to get better.
  • As of the start of the 2013 season, the one still relatively unknown commodity about Choo is his skill as a center fielder. He was the primary right fielder in Cleveland. In Cincinnati, where Jay Bruce mans right field, Choo will move to the middle of the field, where he's played only 10 times over his career. His lack of familiarity for the spot is far less a concern to the Reds compared to the upside of his potential leadoff prowess.

    Admittedly uncomfortable in the early days of 2013 spring camp, Choo put as much effort in improving defensively as he did with his hitting. He worked regularly with coaches Billy Hatcher and Eric Davis.

    Bruce, who was at one point willing to move over to center field to accommodate Choo, believes his new teammate will be successful at his new spot.

    "Obviously, there is only one Drew Stubbs in my opinion as far as the range he possesses," Bruce said. "But Choo has worked extremely hard and takes a lot of pride in what he does. He's going to be just fine out there. There won't be any question as to whether or not he can play the position."

  • Choo is very speedy. He runs well and exhibits the instincts to steal bases.

    He steals about 20 bases a year.

  • As of 2014, Choo is not nearly the base-stealing threat he used to be. But he did nab 12 bases in 2017, at age 35.
  • July 2003: Shin-Soo broke a bone in his right foot while sliding into second base. He missed three weeks of action.
  • June–August 2007: Choo went on the D.L. with a strained elbow ligament.

    But on September 25, 2007, Shin-Soo underwent Tommy John surgery by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. Choo's ligament damage is probably traced to his days as a pitcher for the junior national team in South Korea. He recalled once pitching 44 innings during a stretch of five games in seven days.

  • March 22–May 30, 2008: Shin-Soo began the season on the D.L. while still recovering from the Tommy John surgery.
  • July 3-23, 2010: Choo severely sprained his thumb diving for Jack Cust's one-out double in the eighth inning of a 3-0 loss to the Athletics. He underwent an MRI exam on the thumb and went on the D.L.
  • February 22, 2011: Shin-Soo was feeling discomfort in his elbow early in spring training. An MRI showed only mild elbow soreness with no problem inside the joint, and he was back in action at the end of the first week in March.
  • June 24-August 12, 2011: Choo had his left thumb broken by a pitch from San Francisco lefthander Jonathan Sanchez, and went on the D.L. He had surgery on June 28 by renowned hand specialist and surgeon Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic. Graham had to open the thumb, reduce and internally fixate a displaced fracture.

    "It means that he had to go inside and put the bone back in place," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said before Cleveland played the D-backs at Chase Field in the second game of a three-game series. "By fixation, it means that he usually holds it in place with a plate or some screws. I'm not sure what process he used in this case."

    Shin-Soo virtually had the lower bone beyond the thumb's joint shattered.

  • August 29-September 14, 2011: Shin-Soo tweaked his strained left oblique muscle making a checked swing against the Royals and went on the D.L. the next day.

    September 15, 2011: Choo reinjured his left rib cage (oblique) in the second inning of his first game back, going on the D.L. and ending his season.

  • March 15, 2013: Shin-Soo was sidelined with back spasms that flared up in the morning after a game.

  • August 24–end of 2014 season: Choo was on the D.L. with a bone spur in his left elbow. It was removed via surgery September 16.

    ROUGH 2016

  • April 9-May 20, 2016: Choo was on the D.L. with a right calf strain.


  • May 21-June 13, 2016: Choo was on the DL with a left hamstring strain.


  • July 20-Aug 4, 2016: Choo was on the DL with inflammation in the lower back.


  • Aug 16-end of 2016 season: Choo was on the DL with a fracture in his left forearm. It was decided that Choo would have surgery to have a plate inserted in his left arm. 

Last Updated 4/22/2018. All contents © 2000 by Player Profiles. All rights reserved.