Seiya Suzuki (29, Chicago Cubs) was dubbed a “genius hitter” when he was playing in Nippon Professional Baseball. It was clear that he had a balanced skill set with the ball, field, and run. He could hit triples, had the power to hit 20 home runs, and had above-average running and defensive skills.
So even if he made it to the big leagues, he wasn’t going to make it big, but he was going to be a very hard hitter to break. The Chicago Cubs, who were short on outfielders, took note. They signed Suzuki to a five-year, $85 million contract ahead of the 2022 season. It’s not a huge deal in today’s free agency market, but it’s still a relatively large investment for a player with no major league experience.
Suzuki’s first year was a mixed bag. He clearly needed time to adjust. The Cubs must have been in the equation. Then there were the injuries. He played just 111 games that season. In those 111 games, he batted .262 with 14 home runs, 46 RBIs, nine doubles, and an OPS of .770. He was described as a player with good skills in the air, in the field, and on the basepaths, but he was ambiguous in all three areas. He wasn’t very good and he wasn’t very bad.
Coming into this season, I had high expectations. I had a year of adjustment last year, and my patience at the plate was good, and I saw the ball relatively well, and my bat didn’t follow the pitch very well. There was an expectation that my approach at the plate would translate into results, and I was in peak form in camp, and my ratings started to rise. This year, however, his performance has been flat.
As of the 9th, Suzuki has played in 91 games and is batting just .249 with nine home runs, 37 RBIs, and an OPS of .715. That’s 9% below the league average OPS. That means he’s not average on offence. His on-base percentage is down from last year (0.433 to 0.388), and he hasn’t made a clear breakthrough. In his 11 stolen base attempts, he failed to steal six times. The defence is so-so. But the Cubs need an offensive outfielder.
Actually, his advanced metrics aren’t that bad. He has a decent average batting average, and he draws a decent amount of walks. He still doesn’t swing at a lot of pitches. However, he still strikes out quite a bit because he doesn’t take advantage of hard pitches in the strike zone. He’s a completely different type of player in theory than in practice.
With a long road to the postseason, the Cubs don’t seem to have time to wait for Suzuki anymore. Judging by his playing time in August. The Cubs have a solid outfielder in Cody Bellinger. Add to that the unexpected variable of Mike Tuckman, who signed a minor league deal this year and is making good use of it. While the team is happy to have him, Suzuki has competition for his playing time.
After playing for Hanwha in the KBO last year, Tuckman returned to the U.S. after not being re-signed, and this year he reestablished himself in the major leagues. After signing a minor league contract, he has earned his spot with his skills. He was initially a backup, but his role has continued to grow. It’s the complete opposite of Suzuki’s curve.
In 65 games this season, Tuckman is hitting .284 with a .375 on-base percentage, seven home runs, 41 RBIs, and an OPS of .817. That’s better offensive production than Suzuki, despite the slight difference in at-bats. His defence is no worse than Suzuki’s. At this point, the Cubs are more about team performance than individuals, and they need to use the better player. It’s only natural that Tuckman would get more playing time.
Suzuki has only nine at-bats in August, despite not having any major injuries. On eight days, he was a pinch-hitter, and on the ninth, he was on the bench. Tuckman, on the other hand, has already played 27 at-bats in August. That’s more than Suzuki. And with a .407 batting average and 1.210 OPS in August, Suzuki’s absence is not being felt at all. For now, it’s safe to say that the tide has turned.
“During practice, I don’t feel bad,” Suzuki told MLB.com on the 9th. But in games, I think I’m too concerned about getting results, so I think I need to relax a little more.” “I’m not in the best shape right now. The players who are out there now are all players who are getting results. I need to make sure I get my place back,” he admitted.토스카지노
Of course, the team dynamic isn’t the same for Turkman, who signed $85 million man Suzuki to a minor league deal. In the end, the Cubs are tasked with keeping Suzuki alive. Moving Bellinger, who is eligible for free agency after this season, is also a consideration. But if Suzuki’s struggles deepen, the Cubs can’t wait.
First, they need to find a breakthrough in his off-speed pitches, which have become more intense. Suzuki’s OPS against fastballs in April was a respectable .533, but it’s only .490 in May, .227 in June, .288 in July, and .167 in August. That’s not a batting average, that’s a slugging percentage. If you can’t hit the fastball, you’re not going to be successful in the majors.