Seiya Suzuki (29‧ Chicago Cubs), a 5-tool player representing Japanese professional baseball and who was called a “genius hitter,” was one of the players who heated up the 2022 Major League transfer market. In the evaluation of “I can do the basics even if I can’t do it,” several teams watched him, and eventually he hit the jackpot by signing a five-year contract with the Chicago Cubs for a total of 85 million dollars (about 104.3 billion won).
It seemed the type that was not easy to fail. Suzuki hit well, could hit far, and had the ability to defend and run. Besides, he wasn’t the type to miss easily, and he had the ability to pick out walks. There is a clear difference between Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball, but many evaluated that it was a business that could take away 20% of the results in Nippon Professional Baseball.
However, if you evaluate the grades in 2022, ‘it was just so’. He appeared in 111 games with a batting average of .262, 14 homers, 46 RBIs, 9 stolen bases, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.770. He was a better scoring production than league average, but considering the amount invested, it wasn’t easy to see the Cubs earning even. 메이저놀이터
His ups and downs were too severe. He was very good when he was good, and he was digging when he was not. In fact, Suzuki started the season at an amazing pace. Through April, his OPS was high in the league at 0.934. But he jumped with 0.617 in May, 0.783 in July and 0.697 in August.
If so, will Suzuki collapse as it is under the thorough analysis of the major leagues? Looking at the results in September, the end of the season, it is not like that again. Suzuki rebounded with an OPS of 0.847 in 20 games in September. He hit four home runs in 79 at bats, which was his best on a monthly basis last year. And in August and September, walks were gradually increasing.
Even statisticians are confused. ‘ZiPS’, a representative projection, simultaneously announces the top 20% and bottom 20% expectations of batters. Suzuki had an adjusted scoring production (wRC+) of 148 in the top 20% of expectations. This is a performance comparable to that of most league superstars. Conversely, he only scored 105 in the bottom 20%. The difference is 43. According to statistician Inno Sarris, this is one of the highest numbers in the major leagues.
Suzuki swung just 15 percent of balls out of the strike zone last year. Pioneering and patience were alive. However, there were many ups and downs to produce this result, and even this figure fluctuated from month to month. When Suzuki performed poorly, it was when he hit the bat a little more aggressively.
With a wRC+ of 148, you literally have more than an All-Star player, and a five-year, $85 million investment is well worth it. Conversely, if wRC+ is 105, this investment will end in a catastrophic failure with a league average performance. Which face of Suzuki is real is expected to be revealed a little more clearly in 2023.