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Deberg_1990
09-27-2010, 01:02 PM
Depends on how u view hitting singles.....Nice read from JoPo



http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/09/24/nolan-and-ichiro/?eref=sihp





You already know all about Ichiro’s hit exploits. He is:

• The first player in baseball history to get 200 hits in eight, nine and now 10 consecutive seasons.
• About to lead the league in hits for the seventh time — and in his other three big league seasons he finished second.
• The only player in baseball history to get 675 plate appearances and hit .300 10 years in a row (Lou Gehrig was close but one year he fell three plate appearances short).

Let’s put it this way: Ichiro came to America when he was 27 years old. At that point, he had 1,278 hits in Japan. You cannot count those hits in the major leagues, of course, but I’d say if anything, 1,278 hits is probably FEWER than he would have had if he had started his career here. Anyway, for fun, let’s give him those 1,278 hits.

He doesn’t turn 37 until October, so that means that through his age 36 season, he has had 3,510 professional baseball hits. Here’s how that would rank in baseball history.

Hits through age 36:
1. Ichiro, 3,510
2. Ty Cobb, 3,453
3. Hank Aaron, 3,110
4. Robin Young, 3,025
5. Pete Rose, 2,966*

*Put it this way: When I talked to Pete for The Machine, he flat told me: “Hey, tell Ichiro he can even count his hits in Japan. I don’t care. He ain’t getting to 4,000 hits.” Yep, Pete was a big man then. But Ichiro has had something like 700 or 800 hits since then, and I now see interviews with Pete singing a different tune about how — COME ON! Japan is Triple A baseball! You can’t count those hits! You’ve got to be KIDDING ME! What, do you want to count my hits in MACON?


That little change sums up Pete Rose the man just about as well as anything else.

So, you know what kind of hit machine Ichiro has been. Well, you should also know that 81% — EIGHTY ONE PERCENT of his hits — have been singles. If that sounds high, well, yeah, it’s historically high. We’ll get to that in a minute. Ichiro is a singles man. He has four of the Top 10 singles seasons in baseball history, and half of those Top 10 seasons were in the 19th century.

If you start in 1901, the Top 5 singles seasons look like this:

1. Ichiro, 225 (2004)
2. Ichiro, 206 (2007)
3. Lloyd Waner, 198 (1927)
4. Ichiro, 192 (2001)
5. Wade Boggs, 187 (1985)

He has led the league in singles every single season he has been in the big leagues. Every single year. And not only has he led the league, he has DESTROYED the league.

2001: Led league by 53 singles (Shannon Stewart runner-up)
2002: Led league by 18 singles (Derek Jeter)
2003: Led league by 14 singles (Michael Young)
2004: Led league by 73 singles (Young)
2005: Led league by 5 singles (Jeter)
2006: Led league by 28 singles (Jeter)
2007: Led league by 48 singles (Young)
2008: Led league by 36 singles (Orlando Cabrera)
2009: Led league by 13 singles (Jeter)
2010: Leads league by 18 singles (Juan Pierre)

He is simply untouchable as a literal-sense “hitter.” He is the Nolan Ryan of hits. He is the Nolan Ryan of singles. Like with Ryan, you cannot help but feel awe watching the man perform. He’s absolutely amazing.

But, wait. Amazing is one thing. How GOOD an offensive player is Ichiro? And this takes us into more complicated territory. Because, like Ryan, it seems that Ichiro does big things a lot better than he does little things. Ichiro is probably the best at hitting ‘em where they ain’t since the speaker of that quote, Wee Willie Keeler. But that’s not all there is to being a great offensive player, is it?

No. It’s not. Yes, Ichiro has 200 hits every single season — he’s leading the lead for the seventh time — but do you know how many times he has led the league in times on base?

Once. That was 2004.

In fact, except for 2004, he has never finished second or third in times on base, either. His 260 hits in a season is a record, of course, but his career-high 315 times on base actually ranks in a tie for 58th all-time, just one ahead of Chuck Knoblauch’s 1996 season and one behind Mo Vaughn’s 1996 season.

And, more, that’s the ONLY time that Ichiro has gotten on base 300 times in a season. His next-best was 290 times on base in 2007 — and that ranks in a tie for 257th all-time (tied with, among others, Bobby Abreu in 2006, Tony Phillips in 1996 and Bernie Williams in 2002 — and those were not the career-high seasons for any of the three).

The big reason for the gap is that Ichiro doesn’t walk. He just doesn’t. He has led the league in hitting twice and finished second twice more. But he has never led the league in on-base percentage, only once finished in the Top 5, and three times finished in the Top 10.

His .376 on-base percentage is certainly good, but he’s hitting .331 — it’s almost all batting average. Put it this way; There are 25 players in baseball history with 3,000 or more plate appearances and a batting average of higher than .325. Twenty five super-high average players. Ichiro Suzuki has the lowest on-base percentage of any of them.

He is walking one time in 16 plate appearances. That’s just an extremely low number, especially for a good hitter.

So he doesn’t walk. That means that while his hitting is historically great, his on-base percentage is not. Among players with 3,000 or more plate appearances, his on-base percentage is tied for 131st.

OK, well, what about those hits? Well, as I mentioned, 81% of his hits are singles. Even among those relatively light-hitting players, that’s really high.

Here is the singles percentage for some players you might consider light-hitting greats:

• Ichiro, 81%
• Tony Gwynn, 76%
• Pete Rose, 76%
• George Sisler, 75%
• Wade Boggs, 75%
• Ty Cobb, 73%

Ichiro’s singles percentage is higher than Ozzie Smith’s. It’s higher than Jason Kendall’s (yes, it is). It’s higher than that of Luis Aparicio, Bert Campaneris, Bill Buckner and Kenny Lofton. It’s not the all-time mark — other very good hitters such as Richie Ashburn, Stuffy McInnis and Lloyd Waner have higher singles percentages. But in fact, those are probably the ONLY three good hitters who have higher singles percentages — maybe Maury Wills, depending on how good a hitter you think he was.

So, what’s wrong with a single? Nothing. But it ain’t a double. Ichiro’s .430 slugging percentage is certainly low for a .331 hitter, especially in today’s big-hitting era. Jeff Cirillo slugged .430. Hal Morris slugged .433.

So, mainly what Ichiro gives you are lots of singles — line drives, hard grounders up the middle, bloops, bleeders through the infield, high-choppers. Are these aesthetically pleasing? Absolutely. Are these valuable? You bet. Are these more valuable than walks? Yes, of course, well, somewhat. But do a barrage of singles without many walks put Ichiro in the luxury line of hitters with Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera or Josh Hamilton or Robinson Cano or those sorts of guys?

I’d have to say no.

And the numbers would say no even more forcefully. This year, Ichiro does not rank in the Top 50 in batting runs according to Fangraphs.

In 2009, Ichiro ranked 36th.
In 2008, he did not rank in the Top 50.
In 2007, he ranked 31st.
In 2006, he did not rank in the Top 50.
In 2005, he did not rank in the Top 50.
In 2004, he ranked 20th.

And so on. His career OPS+ is 117, which ties him for 367th all-time and ranks lower than, among others, Mickey Tettleton, who hit 90 points lower.

I hear from people in and out of baseball all the time that Ichiro could be a different kind of hitter if he wanted. He could take some points of the average and hit with more power. He could muscle up and hit 25 homers a year. He could attack pitchers differently and draw 100 walks a season. As I said at the top, I have no idea if this is true.

What I do think is that Ichiro Suzuki is one of most dazzling and unforgettable hitters I’ve ever seen. I get a jolt every time I see him step to the plate. And of course, here we’re only talking about his hitting — he’s an amazing base stealer and base runner; he’s an awesome outfielder with a terrific arm. I love watching Ichiro Suzuki play baseball. He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, no doubt in my mind.

Still, as we try to look honestly at his career, we are left with two questions and two seemingly conflicting answers:

1. Is Ichiro Suzuki one of the greatest hitters in baseball history? Absolutely.

2. Is Ichiro Suzuki one of the greatest offensive forces in baseball history? No, probably not.

SPATCH
09-27-2010, 01:09 PM
Higher % of singles than Jason Kendall??? GTFO

Mr. Flopnuts
09-27-2010, 01:10 PM
Well he's no Alex Gordan. That's for sure.

Buck
09-27-2010, 01:10 PM
Is there a way to tell what % of the time he scores compared to the league average after getting on base?

Maybe what % of the time he scores when on base adjusted to if you put him in an average lineup?

I really doubt there will be anything for that 2nd one.

gblowfish
09-27-2010, 01:14 PM
He's a first ballot HOF player.
Jeez Louise...

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:15 PM
He's a slap hitter on a team that does a horrible job scoring runs and still he hasn't adjusted his approach despite being "supposedly" able to constantly light it up during BP.

He's a perfectly fine hitter, but he's not able to hit for any power. He's basically the inverse of Adam Dunn. Would you consider Adam Dunn a "great hitter"?

Now, I think Ichiro is a better player than Dunn because of his tremendous defense, base stealing, and his throwing arm, but as hitters, they are both flawed, albeit in different ways.

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 01:17 PM
This is a nice job. Good analysis. But he ignores the stolen bases.

Tell me how his total bases looks. There's no difference between a double and a single and a stolen base.

But yes, there' no doubt that Ichiro doesn't compare to a Ruth or Williams or Gehrig in terms of offensive impact. Don't need a ton of statistical analysis to figure that out.

The top ten Major League Baseball (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Major_League_Baseball) players in lifetime OPS, with at least 3,000 plate appearances through 2009 (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/2009_in_baseball)

(active players in bold)
Babe Ruth (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Babe_Ruth), 1.1638
Ted Williams (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Ted_Williams), 1.1155
Lou Gehrig (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Lou_Gehrig), 1.0798
Barry Bonds (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Barry_Bonds), 1.0512 (note that even his ridiculous 'roided up years couldn't put him ahead of the top 3, because, you know, he didn't start using the 'roids until later in his career)
Albert Pujols (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Albert_Pujols), 1.051
Jimmie Foxx (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Jimmie_Foxx), 1.0376
Hank Greenberg (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Hank_Greenberg), 1.0169
Rogers Hornsby (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Rogers_Hornsby), 1.0103
Manny Ramírez (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Manny_Ram%C3%ADrez), 1.0019
Todd Helton (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Todd_Helton), 0.9938

chiefsnorth
09-27-2010, 01:18 PM
He doesn't walk (or strikeout) because he's always putting the ball in play. Not a bad thing.

He's a four tool player and one of the best of those there's ever been.

Nobody doubts he's a great hitter, he might be the best pure hitter since Rod Carew. He would likely hit leadoff for any team in history. Why does it need to be more than that?

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:22 PM
This is a nice job. Good analysis. But he ignores the stolen bases.

Tell me how his total bases looks. There's no difference between a double and a single and a stolen base.

But yes, there' no doubt that Ichiro doesn't compare to a Ruth or Williams or Gehrig in terms of offensive impact. Don't need a ton of statistical analysis to figure that out.

The top ten Major League Baseball (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Major_League_Baseball) players in lifetime OPS, with at least 3,000 plate appearances through 2009 (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/2009_in_baseball)

(active players in bold)

Babe Ruth (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Babe_Ruth), 1.1638
Ted Williams (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Ted_Williams), 1.1155
Lou Gehrig (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Lou_Gehrig), 1.0798
Barry Bonds (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Barry_Bonds), 1.0512 (note that even his ridiculous 'roided up years couldn't put him ahead of the top 3, because, you know, he didn't start using the 'roids until later in his career)
Albert Pujols (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Albert_Pujols), 1.051
Jimmie Foxx (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Jimmie_Foxx), 1.0376
Hank Greenberg (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Hank_Greenberg), 1.0169
Rogers Hornsby (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Rogers_Hornsby), 1.0103
Manny Ramírez (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Manny_Ram%C3%ADrez), 1.0019
Todd Helton (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/wiki/Todd_Helton), 0.9938



And the top three really didn't play against blacks, save for the ass end of Williams' career.

Oh, and if you have a guy on in front of you, a double is worth a hell of a lot more than a single and a steal, because the guy on first in this case has a much better chance to score from 1st on a double, and will always score from second.

Deberg_1990
09-27-2010, 01:24 PM
Nobody doubts he's a great hitter, he might be the best pure hitter since Rod Carew.

Thats exactly who i would compare him to as a hitter.

chiefsnorth
09-27-2010, 01:27 PM
And the top three really didn't play against blacks, save for the ass end of Williams' career.

Not to take too much away from this, but there aren't a whole lot of black pitchers today, and there never really have been.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:29 PM
Not to take too much away from this, but there aren't a whole lot of black pitchers today, and there never really have been.

Depends what you mean.

There are fewer African Americans playing than at any time in about 50 years. There are far more Latin players of African origin than ever.

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 01:30 PM
And the top three really didn't play against blacks, save for the ass end of Williams' career.

Errrummm, ok. But of all the differences in the game between the color barrier being broken, etc. that's kind of an odd one to pick.

There are many other things that changed also, and were likely more significant impacts on the hitters across the different eras, including not least the methods of utilization for relief pitchers and the change in the height of the mound.

I do agree, of course, that the exclusion of minorities somewhat lowered the overall average quality of pitching faced by hitters in the prior to the 50s. But to point to that one factor as opposed to mentioning some others, that's where you lose me.

Oh, and if you have a guy on in front of you, a double is worth a hell of a lot more than a single and a steal, because the guy on first in this case has a much better chance to score from 1st on a double, and will always score from second.

Yes. No argument. But that is going to come out by looking at RBIs as well as anything else, really. Though obviously one's position in the batting order is determined in large part by what type of hitter one is.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:32 PM
Errrummm, ok. But of all the differences in the game between the color barrier being broken, etc. that's kind of an odd one to pick.

There are many other things that changed also, and were likely more significant impacts on the hitters across the different eras, including not least the methods of utilization for relief pitchers and the change in the height of the mound.

I do agree, of course, that the exclusion of minorities somewhat lowered the overall average quality of pitching faced by hitters in the prior to the 50s. But to point to that one factor as opposed to mentioning some others, that's where you lose me.



Yes. No argument. But that is going to come out by looking at RBIs as well as anything else, really. Though obviously one's position in the batting order is determined in large part by what type of hitter one is.

I was merely pointing out that all players on that list have "warts" that one could dissect, very similar to Bonds (although many not as egregious).

Brainiac
09-27-2010, 01:32 PM
Tell me how his total bases looks. There's no difference between a double and a single and a stolen base.


A runner doesn't score from first on a walk, so there is a difference. It may not be huge, but it's a difference.

pr_capone
09-27-2010, 01:34 PM
A hitter in baseball has only one job. Get on base.

He does that at a ridiculous pace. Yeah... he is a great hitter. One of the best.

chiefsnorth
09-27-2010, 01:36 PM
Depends what you mean.

There are fewer African Americans playing than at any time in about 50 years. There are far more Latin players of African origin than ever.

I know, I am just confused by the qualifications place on pre-Robinson hitters. If there had never been a color barrier, why would we assume that would have affected their numbers? There are not many blacks in the league today, but even in the 60s-70s, they weren't a huge number of the league's pitchers and they aren't still today.

Maybe back in the 30s before there were other sports they would have comprised a greater percentage of pitchers than they did in the 70s, but why would we assume that blacks would have been as a group significantly above league average as pitchers? Is there any historical data to support it?

If you are talking about pitching stats I could see the argument a little better but I don't think it would change a lot to these measures

rambleonthruthefog
09-27-2010, 01:37 PM
if by hitting, you mean swinging a bat at a pitch by a MLB pitcher and getting on base, then yes, he is great.

rambleonthruthefog
09-27-2010, 01:38 PM
let me add, that baseball is boring and it sucks.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:38 PM
A hitter in baseball has only one job. Get on base.

He does that at a ridiculous pace. Yeah... he is a great hitter. One of the best.

He's tied for 26th among active players in OBP. When he does get it, it's generally in the form of a single or a walk, which is why he's 63rd in OPS.

He's a good hitter. He's not a great hitter.

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 01:38 PM
Further to my last, also note the followign variations in rules/situation across eras.

1. shrinking of strike zone in the late 60s.

2. dramatic increase in number of teams, resulting in dilution of pitching quality.

3. elimination of the spitball.

You can go on and on. While many (not least me) love to pretend (or loved to pretend, until the steroid era screwed everything up) that you could do a good statistical analysis of diffferent players across the generations, the fact is that it's a completely different game.

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 01:41 PM
I was merely pointing out that all players on that list have "warts" that one could dissect, very similar to Bonds (although many not as egregious).

No. This I disagree with.

Bonds and Manny and the steroid era is tainted because they intentionally cheated -- no different than league-wide corking of bats.

There are some great divides in baseball history. Pre-post '68 or whatever the year was when they changed the strike zone and lowered the mound, and the steroid era are two of them.

The breaking of the color barrier was a significant change, but not in the nature of the game itself, or how it was played.

The "wart" that Babe Ruth never faced a black pitcher is NOTHING like the wart of the steroids era. The former wasn't Ruth's doing, it's a wart on baseball as a whole, and society as a whole. The later was entirely cheating by the players in question.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:42 PM
I know, I am just confused by the qualifications place on pre-Robinson hitters. If there had never been a color barrier, why would we assume that would have affected their numbers? There are not many blacks in the league today, but even in the 60s-70s, they weren't a huge number of the league's pitchers and they aren't still today.

Maybe back in the 30s before there were other sports they would have comprised a greater percentage of pitchers than they did in the 70s, but why would we assume that blacks would have been as a group significantly above league average as pitchers? Is there any historical data to support it?

If you are talking about pitching stats I could see the argument a little better but I don't think it would change a lot to these measures

Well, it's undoubtedly true that hitters were far more predominant than pitchers for the first several years. However, the true measuring stick of baseball is how you did against your peers. We know that Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig put up awesome numbers. What we don't know is how many others would have performed if given those same opportunities.

So don't think of it as "Babe Ruth would have hit 100 fewer homeruns" but rather "How much different would Babe Ruth's production be in relation to his peers if his peers included African Americans and other minorities."

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:47 PM
No. This I disagree with.

Bonds and Manny and the steroid era is tainted because they intentionally cheated -- no different than league-wide corking of bats.

There are some great divides in baseball history. Pre-post '68 or whatever the year was when they changed the strike zone and lowered the mound, and the steroid era are two of them.

The breaking of the color barrier was a significant change, but not in the nature of the game itself, or how it was played.

The "wart" that Babe Ruth never faced a black pitcher is NOTHING like the wart of the steroids era. The former wasn't Ruth's doing, it's a wart on baseball as a whole, and society as a whole. The later was entirely cheating by the players in question.

Regardless of who you would like to assign blame to (which wasn't the point of what I was saying), the fact of the matter is that any player from any era can have their numbers questioned.

What is particular about Ruth's era is that many talented players were not allowed to play. What is particular about Bonds' is the amount of steroid use.

Both can be called into question for various reasons, that doesn't mean that you are impugning Ruth's character, rather you are taking a holistic look about who his peers were.

WRT: facing pitchers, that is some of the equation, but a relatively small amount. What is more important to analyze are the Josh Gibsons who were left out and as a consequence had their potential remain unknown.

We don't have an accurate measuring stick for Ruth, IMO because of that. No one is saying that it's his fault. That's a gross misreading.

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 01:52 PM
Regardless of who you would like to assign blame to (which wasn't the point of what I was saying), the fact of the matter is that any player from any era can have their numbers questioned.

What is particular about Ruth's era is that many talented players were not allowed to play. What is particular about Bonds' is the amount of steroid use.

Both can be called into question for various reasons, that doesn't mean that you are impugning Ruth's character, rather you are taking a holistic look about who his peers were.

WRT: facing pitchers, that is some of the equation, but a relatively small amount. What is more important to analyze are the Josh Gibsons who were left out and as a consequence had their potential remain unknown.

We don't have an accurate measuring stick for Ruth, IMO because of that. No one is saying that it's his fault. That's a gross misreading.


My analysis is simpler.

Barry Bonds intentionally cheated to inflate his numbers. His cheating was purposeful, systemic and affected every at bat over a significant number of years.

Babe Ruth did not.


Note that my disdain for the steroids era and players isn't limited to Bonds. He was an egregious example, but I have the same low opinion of Manny, McGuire, Clemens and the other cheaters of the era.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 01:55 PM
There's no doubt that Bonds' infraction was worse on a personal level. No one is arguing that.

chiefsnorth
09-27-2010, 01:57 PM
Well, it's undoubtedly true that hitters were far more predominant than pitchers for the first several years. However, the true measuring stick of baseball is how you did against your peers. We know that Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig put up awesome numbers. What we don't know is how many others would have performed if given those same opportunities.

So don't think of it as "Babe Ruth would have hit 100 fewer homeruns" but rather "How much different would Babe Ruth's production be in relation to his peers if his peers included African Americans and other minorities."

Ok. I'm following.

The thing about baseball here though is that I don't think blacks or whites have a significant advantage over anyone else.

In the NFL we see blacks dominate all but a few positions for whatever you believe the reason to be. In these other sports certainly you could call all into question on these grounds.

I guess I just don't believe that baseball would have been significantly different in a macro sense, by statistics. Ruth played in the segregated era, but there was only one of him. So you integrate the sport in the 20s and there is maybe one more Ruth as a result?

Of course there would be a few different individuals in our memories today, but I don't think there would be a lot more guys to compare Ruth or Williams to than there are currently. JMO

pr_capone
09-27-2010, 02:05 PM
He's tied for 26th among active players in OBP. When he does get it, it's generally in the form of a single or a walk, which is why he's 63rd in OPS.

He's a good hitter. He's not a great hitter.

I don't know about you but I would be thrilled to have a lead off hitter with these stats.

.316 BA, 41 SB, 205 Hits

The guy has 10 consecutive years of 200+ hits, has NEVER hit below .300 with a lifetime (MLB) BA of .331.

Show me a leadoff hitter with better numbers over the same period of time.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 02:05 PM
Ok. I'm following.

The thing about baseball here though is that I don't think blacks or whites have a significant advantage over anyone else.

In the NFL we see blacks dominate all but a few positions for whatever you believe the reason to be. In these other sports certainly you could call all into question on these grounds.

I guess I just don't believe that baseball would have been significantly different in a macro sense, by statistics. Ruth played in the segregated era, but there was only one of him. So you integrate the sport in the 20s and there is maybe one more Ruth as a result?

Of course there would be a few different individuals in our memories today, but I don't think there would be a lot more guys to compare Ruth or Williams to than there are currently. JMO

Even if they are on the same playing field, you are cutting out 10% of your potential peer group.

But, even with that said, there doesn't have to be another Ruth, there could several additional 500+ HR guys. That makes what he did less astounding.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-27-2010, 02:10 PM
I don't know about you but I would be thrilled to have a lead off hitter with these stats.

.316 BA, 41 SB, 205 Hits

The guy has 10 consecutive years of 200+ hits, has NEVER hit below .300 with a lifetime (MLB) BA of .331.

Show me a leadoff hitter with better numbers over the same period of time.

No one is saying he's not great at what he does, but there's a reason why your best hitters hit third and fourth: they give you the best combination of power and average.

If you look at Ichiro as just a hitter, he gives you great average, there's no doubt. He also gives you no power, he's not going to hit the ball in the gaps, and he doesn't get on base at all that astounding of a clip.

He does one aspect of hitting very, very well, but I don't think that makes him a great hitter.

I think to be a great hitter you need to be a guy who can consistently get on base (400+ OBP) and be able to hit 25+ HRs and 30+ doubles.

pr_capone
09-27-2010, 02:25 PM
No one is saying he's not great at what he does, but there's a reason why your best hitters hit third and fourth: they give you the best combination of power and average.

If you look at Ichiro as just a hitter, he gives you great average, there's no doubt. He also gives you no power, he's not going to hit the ball in the gaps, and he doesn't get on base at all that astounding of a clip.

He does one aspect of hitting very, very well, but I don't think that makes him a great hitter.

I think to be a great hitter you need to be a guy who can consistently get on base (400+ OBP) and be able to hit 25+ HRs and 30+ doubles.

No... your best hitters do not hit 3, 4, & 5. A teams power hitters hit in those spots. That is just bad logic. The Mariner's #3 hitter is batting .250 with 12 home runs.

A lead off hitter's job is not to smash home runs or even hit doubles. All he needs to do is get on base and let the mashers later in the lineup drive him home.

If he was hitting .286 and was at 170 hits for the season, I would agree... he is a good hitter, nothing more. The fact that the guy has batted over .300 each of his 10 MLB seasons while mashing 200+ hits in each... that is something special.

People get too wrapped up in home runs and slugging percentage. Ichiro is hands down the best lead off hitter in the past 30 years... Henderson included.

Basileus777
09-27-2010, 02:42 PM
A leadoff hitter's job is the get on base, which Ichiro does well, but not amazingly so. He's never really been a dominant OBP guy.


Singles are valuable, but so are walks, and you know...extra base hits.


When compared to the all time greats, Ichiro just isn't up there. He is a great, but not one of the top to ever play the game.

gblowfish
09-27-2010, 03:01 PM
He's a slap hitter on a team that does a horrible job scoring runs and still he hasn't adjusted his approach despite being "supposedly" able to constantly light it up during BP.

He can hit for power. I saw him hit a Grand Slam vs. KC off MacDougal to score four runs and beat the Royals in the 9th. I remember it because it was my birthday, and ruined my night. Bastage.

But he can muscle up when he needs to.

SnakeXJones
09-27-2010, 03:12 PM
Ichiro has power I heard about his batting practices

blaise
09-27-2010, 03:13 PM
He's a great hitter, but I don't think he can be in the conversation with Mays or Williams, he doesn't hit for enough power. Williams could have hit a boatload more singles in his career, but his approach was that if you could drive a pitch out you should. I would almost guarantee that if Williams were alive right now, and you asked him about Ichiro, he would say that Ichiro needs to try and drive in more runs with homers.

Deberg_1990
09-27-2010, 03:28 PM
Ichiro has power I heard about his batting practices

Thats kind of what JoPo is alluding to in that column. I didnt post it, but he basically makes the comparison that Ichiro is the Nolan Ryan of pitching.

Ryan did "One thing" extremely well. He never adjusted his game to try and do other aspects of the game well.

Consistent1
09-27-2010, 03:30 PM
Ichiro has power I heard about his batting practices

Batting practice? lmao...Every player in the big leagues including most of the pitchers can put ball after ball in the seats like that. Hell, there are probably a bunch of guys on this board that could hit a couple into the seats out of ten. I just don't buy the whole potential power deal with him. It's any kind of contact, with high choppers being great, and run like hell with him. Nothing wrong with that for his results. He has speed to stretch hits into doubles. He just isn't that great of a hitter in reality. Very savvy and effective at what he does. Even it is no small feat when facing MLB quality pitchers. It just isn't that impressive in comparison to so many players who drive the ball into gaps and run like hell the same way he does. Someone said he was better than Rickey Henderson as a lead-off guy in this thread. To me, that is a WTF statement.

Demonpenz
09-27-2010, 04:06 PM
He is going to have 10 plus all stars on his resume. Hall of Fame

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 04:07 PM
People get too wrapped up in home runs and slugging percentage. Ichiro is hands down the best lead off hitter in the past 30 years... Henderson included.

NO. Just no.

The job for a leadoff guy is to get on base and then score. Stealing bases to mess up the opposition helps wiht scoring and also creates havoc for opposing pitchers and defenses. It makes no difference HOW you get on base (walk versus single).

Henderson had a higher lifetime OBP, and if he hadn't hung around for like 5 more years than he really should've, then it would've been much higher than the .401 it ended up being (versus Suzuki's .376). Henderson, other than two aberrational years, had 23 consecutive years of .392 OBP or better. Ichiro's had one year at .414 and never topped .400 otherwise.

Henderson also has a higher slugging, and more steals on average.

Pretty much no matter how you measure it, Henderson was the better offensive player.

Amnorix
09-27-2010, 04:16 PM
He's a great hitter, but I don't think he can be in the conversation with Mays or Williams, he doesn't hit for enough power. Williams could have hit a boatload more singles in his career, but his approach was that if you could drive a pitch out you should. I would almost guarantee that if Williams were alive right now, and you asked him about Ichiro, he would say that Ichiro needs to try and drive in more runs with homers.

Williams never had 200 hits in a season in his life.

And yet he would LAUGH if anyone compared Ichiro to him. The reason he never had 200 hits was because he walked so damn much. Ted is still the all time On base percentage leader at .482.

Yeah, lifetime, he was just a hair shy of getting on base every other at bat.

But he did it with power too. Because guess who is second in all-time slugging percentage? Yep, that'd be Teddy Ballgame.

Ted and Babe are 1-2 in both career slugging (Babe has the lead by a healthy margin) and on base percentage (Ted squeaks out the Babe). When it comes to hitting, there's those two, THEN everyone else. Some are certainly in the same ballpark in terms of respect -- Gehrig and Pujols, etc., but there's clearly those two THEN everyone else...

Rooster
09-27-2010, 04:20 PM
I don't want to hijack the thread but does anyone know why he goes by his first name and not his last? His name is Ichiro Suzuki but he goes simply by Ichiro. His jersey even says Ichiro and not Suzuki.

I am just curious. Is it a marketing thing? I don't think it's a cultural thing because other Japenese players have used their last names on jerseys.

I've just always wondered that. Carry on.

Basileus777
09-27-2010, 05:05 PM
I don't want to hijack the thread but does anyone know why he goes by his first name and not his last? His name is Ichiro Suzuki but he goes simply by Ichiro. His jersey even says Ichiro and not Suzuki.

I am just curious. Is it a marketing thing? I don't think it's a cultural thing because other Japenese players have used their last names on jerseys.

I've just always wondered that. Carry on.
I think he started that when he played in Japan, where he was such a star he got to have his given name on his jersey.

chiefzilla1501
09-27-2010, 05:11 PM
No... your best hitters do not hit 3, 4, & 5. A teams power hitters hit in those spots. That is just bad logic. The Mariner's #3 hitter is batting .250 with 12 home runs.

A lead off hitter's job is not to smash home runs or even hit doubles. All he needs to do is get on base and let the mashers later in the lineup drive him home.

If he was hitting .286 and was at 170 hits for the season, I would agree... he is a good hitter, nothing more. The fact that the guy has batted over .300 each of his 10 MLB seasons while mashing 200+ hits in each... that is something special.

People get too wrapped up in home runs and slugging percentage. Ichiro is hands down the best lead off hitter in the past 30 years... Henderson included.

There's a lot wrong with this.

First of all, a leadoff hitter's job is #1 to get on base. But underratedly, the best leadoff hitters are ones that force the pitchers to show a lot of pitches. Wade Boggs was a #2 hitter and maybe one of the better of all time because he would force a pitcher to literally throw 10-12 pitches before he finally hit one that he liked. I hate when people obsess over hits. Especially at the leadoff spot, the majority of the time a walk is as good as a single. Ichiro is not even REMOTELY close to the best leadoff hitter today let alone in the last 30 years, let alone in the last.

Perfect example: Brett Gardner of the Yankees is hitting .276, but he has a higher on-base percentage than Ichiro. And he has 1 more SB. Nobody in their right mind would consider Brett Gardner an elite player. But can you really tell me what he does that's any different from what Ichiro does as a hitter?

And yes, absolutely your best hitter is typically #3 or #5. You expect your #1 and #2 guys to get on base. Your #3 hitter has to be the guy to drive those guys in. And that doesn't mean he's a pure power hitter. Usually you want a consistent RBI producer in that spot because your #4 hitter is typically a boom or bust home run guy.