Shin-Soo Choo still confident against lefties

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Whenever anyone analyzed the Texas Rangers' signing of Shin-Soo Choo this offseason, there was always the note about his struggles against left-handed pitching.

Choo, the club's new leadoff hitter, batted .215 against lefties with no homers in 221 plate appearances. It's a testament to Choo's ability to draw walks and find ways to get on base that he still posted a .347 on-base percentage against them despite the poor batting average.

Choo hit .285 on the season with 21 homers and 54 RBIs in 154 games. Think of how much better that would have been if not for his numbers against lefties. But don't mistake his struggles for a guy who has lost the belief that he can hit off them.

"I don’t think it’s any mechanical problem," Choo said Friday, prior to the club's annual banquet to kick off Fan Fest weekend. "Still, I have confidence. I wasn’t great against left-handed pitchers, but I can hit. I still have confidence in myself. I think it will be better this year."

Choo talked about how much he is looking forward to being in the same lineup with Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre (he called him a "great clutch hitter") and said he thinks the Rangers are "better than Cincinnati," where he said he enjoyed playing for a winning team.