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  • Originally posted by Edgartohof
    Well, Ichiro is off to another hot month.

    So not a bad year for him so far.
    Since you listed his placing in statistical categories...

    He's also created the second most runs for his team of anyone in the entire Major Leagues. Only Hafner (who never even has to worry about fielding) is ahead. RC is a pretty good thumbnail stat to gauge production. At least it takes base stealing into account, which other thumnails fail to.

    MLB Leaders: Runs Created

    I think Ichiro is due to go on a tear and take over Mauer within the next three weeks. That's Mauer's somehow still 40 points ahead (as a catcher, no less!!) is a testament to what the incredible talent of this young man. I'd be happy to see a catcher with a swing as classic as his win the batting title, but I seriously doubt it can happen.

    Comment


    • Ichiro is just some kind of machine (which isn't impossible knowing that the Japanese are famouse for their robots).Well done to the Mariners against the Yankees winning 3-2, Ichiro-3 for 4, hard luck the night before.
      Last edited by Padday; 07-20-2006, 07:20 PM.
      Greystones Mariners Baseball Club. The oldest baseball club in Ireland. 16 years and still going strong.

      www.greystonesbaseball.org

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Rennie Stennett
        The Qwest For (.400)

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Some have said that Ichiro can't hit (.400) because he doesn't walk enough. Sure Ichiro averages (46) walks per year, since he's been in the bigs.

        Here are walk totals for guys that hit (.400) or came close:

        Player BB AVG Year

        Cobb 44 .420 1911
        Cobb 43 .410 1912
        Cobb 55 .401 1922

        Hornsby 65 .401 1922
        Hornsby 89 .424 1924
        Hornsby 143 .403 1925

        Williams 145 .406 1941
        Williams 119 .388 1957

        Brett 58 .390 1980

        Qwynn 48 .394 1994

        Ichiro 49 .372 2004

        Hitting (.400) is basically going 2 for 5. Two hits every five at bats. Walks, as we know, are not an offical AB and don't count. Say Ichiro is over (.400) in August and September, will he get Intentional Walks or will they just pitch to him ? Does it matter ? As mentioned above, he has hit over (.400) for the last half of ('04.) Why can't he do it for the rest of the year ? Right know he is making it look like kid stuff. In addition, he might as well brake Joe D's (56) game hit streak while he's at it.
        __________________
        ~R.S.~

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        I'm well known as one of this site's pro-walk fanatics. Here's my two cents' worth on walks and Ichiro:

        I cannot imagine why he would get intentional walks. He's a singles hitter and tremendous baserunner--the absolute last kind guy you'd want to walk.

        As for his failure to walk, I think it significantly diminishes his value as a player--and as greatly as I value him, which is a ton, I thought his MVP was PBS (pure b.s.). But I don't think his failure to take walks will affect his ability to hit .400, unless he's swinging at truly bad pitches. And as I suggested, I don't think that's what's going on. I think that with him, as was true with a much greater player, Ty Cobb, pitchers are so loath to put him on the basepaths that he doesn't get many free passes.

        Cobb got them in just over 9% of his PA's, and you'd better believe he earned every one of them. In Ichiro's case, I've seen him swing at pitches a couple of inches out of the strike zone, but he's not like a lot of white or black players, and a zillion or so Latino players. He doesn't swing at one crap pitch after another because he's too much of a man to walk. If he did THAT, he would never sniff .400.

        As it is, I don't think his pitch selection will hurt him much, if at all.

        BHN

        Comment


        • Never Met A Pitch He Didn't Like

          Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut
          I'm well known as one of this site's pro-walk fanatics. Here's my two cents' worth on walks and Ichiro:

          I cannot imagine why he would get intentional walks. He's a singles hitter and tremendous baserunner--the absolute last kind guy you'd want to walk.

          As for his failure to walk, I think it significantly diminishes his value as a player--and as greatly as I value him, which is a ton, I thought his MVP was PBS (pure b.s.). But I don't think his failure to take walks will affect his ability to hit .400, unless he's swinging at truly bad pitches. And as I suggested, I don't think that's what's going on. I think that with him, as was true with a much greater player, Ty Cobb, pitchers are so loath to put him on the basepaths that he doesn't get many free passes.

          Cobb got them in just over 9% of his PA's, and you'd better believe he earned every one of them. In Ichiro's case, I've seen him swing at pitches a couple of inches out of the strike zone, but he's not like a lot of white or black players, and a zillion or so Latino players. He doesn't swing at one crap pitch after another because he's too much of a man to walk. If he did THAT, he would never sniff .400.

          As it is, I don't think his pitch selection will hurt him much, if at all.

          BHN
          Ichiro never met a pitch he didn't like. I've seen him hit balls that bounce in front of the plate ! He still gets intentional walks, even when he's struggling (his average has dropped 30 points). Many have said that he is a natural lead off hitter, with his hits and his stolen bases, but I have argued in this thread that maybe he would be better suited for the three hole, what with his high average with guys on base and his ability to shoot the ball through holes in the infield and such. You want a lead off hitter to take pitches, make the pitcher work and give the other hitters in the lineup some idea of what the pitcher has that day. How sharp is his breaking ball. ? Does he have extra pop on his fastball ? ect. In Japan he hit third his whole time over there and his numbers if equated to a big league season are great. They play 30 or so less regular season games in Japan. I would think Ichiro third with say Betancourt hitting first is a possibility someday. Betancourt has a nice short swing and will learn to lay off certain pitches.

          Comment


          • Thank you for your input, R.S. I had no idea he was that deplorable in terms of swinging at bad pitches. If your perception of just how bad he is in that respect is confirmed by a couple of others from your neck of the woods, my rating of him will have to drop a bit.

            And I agree. I'd like my leadoff hitter to take some pitches, for the sakes of the other batters. Of course, a guy who can beat out such an extraordinary percentage of ground balls does make for a good lead-off man, no?

            BHN

            Comment


            • I do think it would be much harder to Ichiro to hit .400 than someone like the Balco version of Bonds (see my analysis earlier on this thread) because of the lack of walks. The less walks, the more AB's, and the greater the chance to regress to the mean towards the end of the (which, in his case, is in the .330's).

              I wish the guy would take a lesson from people like Giambi and Abreu, who really maximize their at bats and work the hell out of the pitcher, but that's not in his constitution, I suppose. And those guys really take it to the extreme- he wouldn't even need to be nearly that patient and selective to be more valuable....

              I've read and shared articles with people here where Ichiro was quoted as saying (paraphrasing here) that "fans don't come to the park to see walks" and basically, that he dislikes the idea of walks in general. I really wonder what kind of an offensive player he'd be if he only swung at strikes, and hardly ever swung at bad pitches. Personally, I think he'd be an alltime great.

              What do you guys think?

              I don't like watching people like Pat Burrell take strike three right down the pipe, but I don't like watching Ichiro flail at the first pitch way out of the zone to hit a weak groundout. He's wasting his speed and hitting ability by doing so.

              Let's not forget, though, that he's one of the best bunters in the game, one of the fastest home-first players in history, and gets more infield hits than anyone has in a long, LONG time. Let's also not forget that Ichiro hit .399 for a 58 game stretch this year, and .429 for the entire second half of the season in 2004. So again, if anyone can hit .400 in today's game, I think he's still probably the best candidate (he's got a couple years before his legs start to go).

              Comment


              • Blue Streak

                When Ichiro is hot and he's driving the ball in the outfield gaps and spanking line drives over and through the infield he is at his best. The defense can't cheat. The third baseman can't play in and pick off those tricklers. Up the middle they can't take a step in. This opens up his speed game.

                Since Ichiro leads off the game, he comes to the plate with the bases empty at least 1/5 of his trips to the plate, which means the defense can cheat. If he hit third like he did in Japan, chances are there would be guys on the bases more often, which opens up holes in the (guy on first; first bagger holding runner on) infield and this could be the reason he hits at such a high average with runners on base. Either that or he's just clutch. In these cases, his ability to put the ball in play, even though the end result is not a hit, he moves guys over and makes the defense make plays, if that makes any sense. He gets himself out often, which makes you wonder why they intentional walk him, as you mentioned.

                Comment


                • I love this ad:

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hefwU...&search=ichiro

                  Comment


                  • check it out:

                    Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut
                    Thank you for your input, R.S. I had no idea he was that deplorable in terms of swinging at bad pitches. If your perception of just how bad he is in that respect is confirmed by a couple of others from your neck of the woods, my rating of him will have to drop a bit.

                    And I agree. I'd like my leadoff hitter to take some pitches, for the sakes of the other batters. Of course, a guy who can beat out such an extraordinary percentage of ground balls does make for a good lead-off man, no?

                    BHN
                    BHN, you'll love this one:

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDW95...&search=ichiro

                    thanks to Seattle1 for finding these links.
                    Last edited by Rennie Stennett; 07-23-2006, 08:13 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Rennie Stennett
                      BHN, you'll love this one:

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDW95...&search=ichiro

                      thanks to Seattle1 for finding these links.
                      Sure Rennie, no problem. You can find practically anything on youtube.com. Remember when Randy Johnson hit a bird with a pitch?

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIhvq...andy%20johnson

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Rennie Stennett
                        BHN, you'll love this one:

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDW95...&search=ichiro

                        thanks to Seattle1 for finding these links.

                        You know, I'm going to catch heat from all quarters for this one, but that's never stopped me before....

                        Every now and then, there is a ballplayer who is a unique, remarkable talent. Ernie Lombardi was one. Had not his self-destructiveness caught up with him in the old parks, Pete Reiser would have forged a legacy as another. And we've had many in the past 40 years, of whom Mark Fidrych leaps to mind.

                        Ichiro Suzuki is, without question, a unique and remarkable player. You watch him and he just takes your breath away. Moreover, I'm 53 years old, saw Clemente through all but the very earliest part of his career, and am prepared to say Ichiro is a better DEFENSIVE right fielder than Clemente was. He has a Howitzer for an arm, and if it's not as strong as Clemente's, it's very nearly so and vastly more accurate. Whereas Clemente's career fielding percentage was about 25% BELOW his era's average for an outfielder, Ichiro's is 67% better than that of his average contemporary outfielder, which is one of the most incredible stats of my lifetime.

                        On the other hand, it's a stat based on only five full seasons, and it's not as meaningful as it may sound. If he were an average OF for this era, he would have committed 33 errors coming into this season. Instead, he'd committed 11. That adds up to several runs, but it's a lot more mathematically impressive than it is factually important.

                        Of course, in a way this is unfair to Clemente. Bill James has said that if you have the speed of a CF but lack the arm, you play LF, and if you have the arm of a CF but lack the speed, you play RF. Ichiro obviously has both and, from what I've seen on some Seattle boards, has simply refused to play CF. (One person outrageously said he was "as selfish as Bonds"--um, no way.) So basically he's a CF, and perhaps I shouldn't be holding Clemente up to that standard, any more than I would compare Bonds defensively to DiMaggio or Mays or Speaker.

                        On the other hand, there's no getting around the fact Ichiro is offensively overrated--a modern-day version of the man whose single-season hits record he broke. He has a gaudy career MLB batting average, but a career OBP of only .380, because he had drawn only 231 walks in 5 extremely full seasons, coming into this year, while ranging from 647 to 704 AB's. The only mitigation I can find for that stat is that no pitcher in his right mind would WANT to walk Ichiro, and that they thus probably tried like hell to throw him strikes. On the other hand, he's not a guy who walks in 4% or 5% of his career PA's, like Lajoie or Sisler. It was more like 7% or 8%, and he seems to be reforming somewhat:

                        This year he has 35 walks in 449 PA's, which is still not enough, but an improvement. While his BA was 5 points higher in his overrated rookie year, his OBP is 20 points higher this year.

                        On the bases, he's a killer. Had he started at age 20, he'd have a good shot at becoming the first MLB player since Clemente to get 150 career triples, and WITHOUT a giant ballpark like Clemente had. Also, more important, he steals large numbers of bases with a 77% success rate.

                        So he's excellent on the basepaths and, given his refusal to play CF, he's spectacular in RF--arguably the greatest ever. But he's not a great hitter. Prolific, for sure, but a .380 OBP with negligible HR power cannot be called great.

                        A future legitimate HOF'er? Maybe, but IMO he'll have to increase his OBP further, because he's not likely to hit significantly more HR's legitimately, and I don't think being an excellent baserunner and the greatest defensive RF of all time is enough to make the Hall. If I'm wrong and that is enough, it certainly will make you one of the poorer legitimate members of the Hall.

                        BHN

                        Comment


                        • Nice Post. Ichiro is like 31 years old or pretty close. Do you think that in a few years, if he loses a step or two, he will change his batting style ? Stand in there more, lose his happy feet and try to make cantact and perhaps take his walks ?

                          The funny thing is that everyone knows about Ichiro's rocket arm but yet he still throws guys out; they still run on him !

                          If you think Ichiro has an arm, there is a kid playing rightfield for the Everett Aqua Soxs (The M's short A club) who has a gun of an arm. It might be better than Ichiro's. This guy (his name excapes me) is a catch and throw guy, at least so far. I wonder if they are thinking of making him a pitcher, like they did with Soriano ? It should be interesting.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Rennie Stennett
                            If you think Ichiro has an arm, there is a kid playing rightfield for the Everett Aqua Soxs (The M's short A club) who has a gun of an arm. It might be better than Ichiro's. This guy (his name excapes me) is a catch and throw guy, at least so far. I wonder if they are thinking of making him a pitcher, like they did with Soriano ? It should be interesting.
                            The thing about Ichiro's arm is not that it is the strongest (though it is one of the strongest), but it is also coupled with being amazingly accurate, which I doubt this young kid is. Ichiro has a great enough of an arm, that he could be a pitcher, being able to pitch well over 90 MPH, with good control.

                            Personally, I would like to see him pitch at some point; not full-time, just for maybe an inning or two during a blowout or so.

                            Comment


                            • Now closing for the Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki !

                              Originally posted by Edgartohof
                              The thing about Ichiro's arm is not that it is the strongest (though it is one of the strongest), but it is also coupled with being amazingly accurate, which I doubt this young kid is. Ichiro has a great enough of an arm, that he could be a pitcher, being able to pitch well over 90 MPH, with good control.

                              Personally, I would like to see him pitch at some point; not full-time, just for maybe an inning or two during a blowout or so.
                              I watched this kid throw a seed to the plate when a runner tried to score from second on a single to right. Not a one hopper mind you, but a laserbeam. After that first one, no one tried to run on him the rest of the way, but he loved to show it off. Again, his name escapes me. I'll have to go through my posts to find it. The Aquasoxs got in a brawl with the Boise Cubs a couple of weeks ago and one or two of their guys got hurt. I'm hoping it wasn't the RF'er.

                              Did you hear the news that Ichiro came up in trade talks with the Houston Astros ? The Mariners inquired into the price and availability of Roy Oswalt. Houston said sure you can have him in a swap for Ichiro. Also, a rumor of a Suzuki for Abreu trade. The trade has to get the approval of Ninetindo, who, by the way, love Ichiro.

                              Ichiro has said in the past that he would pitch if needed. I hear he's got a mean splitter, and as you say, an accurate strong fastball.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Rennie Stennett
                                Did you hear the news that Ichiro came up in trade talks with the Houston Astros ? The Mariners inquired into the price and availability of Roy Oswalt. Houston said sure you can have him in a swap for Ichiro. Also, a rumor of a Suzuki for Abreu trade. The trade has to get the approval of Ninetindo, who, by the way, love Ichiro.
                                I would consider that just talk, and not trade-talks. Kinda like, "What would you give me if I kicked you in the crotch?" "Probably a punch to the face." I'm not seriously suggesting a trade here, just talking.

                                The trade I heard for Abreu (doesn't matter now, though) was Piniero, Adam Jones, and Mark Lowe for Abreu and one other. Glad we passed, personally.
                                Swing and a drive! This one is deep! This one is... over the fence and into the neighbor's yard!

                                Comment

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