Outfielder Choo Shin-soo, 40, of the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) League’s Incheon SSG Landers has the most career home runs and runs batted in (RBIs) by an Asian player in Major League Baseball (MLB) of the U.S.
MLB on Dec. 22 released a story on the top MLB players by country and named Choo the best from Korea.
“The owner of an impressive .377 career on-base percentage, Choo leads all Asian-born Major Leaguers in extra-base hits (586) and homers (218),” it said.
In 2009, Choo became the first Asian player to have a batting average of .300, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season. On July 21, 2015, he hit for the cycle in a 9-0 win over the Colorado Rockies with a single, double, triple and home run, another MLB first by an Asian.
The player moved to the U.S. in 2001 and made his MLB debut in 2005. He spent 16 seasons there until 2020.
The Busan native played 1,652 games for four teams: the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians (now Guardians), Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers. Over his MLB career, he hit .275 and had 1,671 hits, 218 home runs, 782 RBIs, 961 runs, 157 stolen bases and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) percentage of .824.
Korea has sent 28 players to MLB including Choo, ranking 15th among countries in that category.