Fantasy Throwdown: Ben Revere vs. Shin-Soo Choo: Who’s The Better Target?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Can Shin-Soo Choo rebound in 2015?  There’s no doubt that his 2014 was a miserable campaign, even more so than anyone expected, and it has certainly impacted his ADP (he’s currently the 46th outfielder coming off the board with an average ADP of 167.5).

On the flipside Ben Revere enjoyed something of a career year, hitting .306 with 49 SB.  It’s an appealing line, but does that justify an ADP of 138.8 (38th outfielder being selected)?  Does it make him a better selection than Choo?  Let’s take a look:

 

Ben Revere
When healthy there is no arguing that Revere is an impressive stolen base option.  Of course last season was the first time he played over 124 games in a season so thinking that he’s a lock for 40+ SB would be a mistake.  If he gets 500 PA sure, especially in a lineup that’s in transition, but it’s not a given.

He also makes contact consistently (9.1% career strikeout rate), and with his speed he should be able to maintain an elevated BABIP (.344 and .330 the past two seasons).  That will consistently put .300 in the conversation.  However, that’s about all he brings with him.

We all know he has no power and no RBI upside.  You would think that he’d bring the potential for significant runs scored, but he’s never scored more than 71 and the Phillies’ lineup is filled with questions.  Can Ryan Howard and/or Chase Utley produce like they did in their prime (or will they even stay on the team)?  Will Domonic Brown rediscover his 2013 success?  Can Maikel Franco or Cody Asche emerge as a viable threat?  It’s a mess an expecting them to score a significant number of runs would be a mistake.

So you have a player who can steal bases, though is an injury risk, and little else.  What exactly are we buying?

 

Shin-Soo Choo
We all knew that there was a potential for regression in 2014, but .242 with 13 HR and 3 SB over 529 PA?  He’s better than that and we all know it.

He needed surgery on his ankle in September (and also had an elbow issue), which helps to explain the lack of stolen bases.  Obviously he’s not in Revere’s class, but he swiped 20+ bases in four out of five seasons from 2009-2013.  There’s no reason to think that he can’t return to at least the 14-17 range.

Choo also brings the potential to hit for power, unlike Revere.  Part of the problem was obviously the injuries, as his strikeouts ballooned in the second half (31.0%).  He also saw a drop in his average distance on non-groundballs:

  • First three months – 268.266
  • Final three months – 260.886

In 2013 he was at 267.854, so we know which is closer to the truth.  He had 9 HR in 90 games in the first half of the season.  Simply prorating that out to 150 games would give us 15 HR for the season…  That’s not overly impressive, but he also hit just 5 HR at home.  Given the home ballpark, we all know he should hit more than that.

Given the lineup he has more potential to score runs, especially if he’s penciled into the leadoff spot, and he also brings 65+ RBI potential.  While he’s not going to blow you away in any category, he is a potential five-category performer.

 

Conclusion
Revere could be a star in one category, but he’s no Billy Hamilton.  It’s not to say that Choo is a lock to produce, but he’s shown the ability to produce in all five categories and has proven capable of putting up a 20/20 season.  While some seem to favor Revere, I’d much rather wait and grab the guy who can chip in everywhere.  Speed is going to be able to be found, whether it’s Leonys Martin (179.8), Denard Span (174.8) or Rajai Davis (246.5) among others.  Don’t overdraft Revere, who won’t win you the category, just for his SB.

Sources – Fangraphs, Fantasy Pros, Baseball Heat Maps

Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings:

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