1. Shin-Soo Choo
Similar to Edwin Encarnacion, veteran Shin-Soo Choo has also played in the majors for 16 years and is 38 years old. And, like the two other names on this list, Choo had a disappointing showing in 2020 amid the shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Playing in just 33 games, the South Korea native slashed .236/.323/.400 with three doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI, 13 walks, and 33 strikeouts. It is important to look at the big picture when it comes to Choo, however. Ever since he began to break out career-wise in the late 2000s and early 2010s with the Cleveland Indians, he has produced eye-catching numbers — particularly in the extra-base hits category.
Choo’s best season was in 2010, when in 144 games he slashed .300/401/.484 with 31 doubles, 22 home runs, and 90 RBI, while stealing 22 bases in 29 attempts. As recently as the 2019 season, playing for the Texas Rangers, Choo slugged 31 doubles, 24 home runs, and 61 RBI.
Phillies fans once clamored for the organization to sign Choo following the 2013 season. One report that offseason had the team as among those “expected” to target not only Choo, but also Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, and Curtis Granderson. Instead, Choo inked a seven-year, $130 million that finally expired this past season.
Now, with the pressure of living up to a lucrative contract away from him, perhaps Choo himself can bounce back in red pinstripes next season in a designated hitter role.
Whether it be Cespedes, Encarnacion, or Choo, the Phillies should consider adding one of these veterans for more consistency and power from the designated hitter spot — assuming the universal DH returns in 2021.