Seiya Suzuki is making a splash to start his MLB career

Seiya Suzuki is making a splash to start his MLB career

You know a player is going to be great in the MLB when you have MLB fans buying their jersey from all over the country. That’s exactly the case for Seiya Suzuki, the 27-year-old rookie outfielder for the Chicago Cubs.

Over the course of the 16 games to start the regular season, Suzuki has been lighting up the stat sheet since Opening Day on April 7. Gaining the trust of Cubs manager David Ross, Suzuki is getting more at-bats and reps in the field thanks to his placement in the lineup and from his experience in Japan before coming to the states to play in the MLB.

At the plate, Suzuki is a show to watch. A lot of experience overseas has helped a lot in transitioning over to the MLB, and it’s clearly seen with his plate discipline. Suzuki chooses the pitches he swings at decisively and draws a ton of walks. In the first two weeks of the regular season, Suzuki has a .492 on-base percentage, getting his sneaky speed on the base paths nearly 50 percent of the time he steps up to the plate. 

Another crazy statistic from Suzuki’s stat line is the OPS+. (on-base plus slugging percentage average. The average player in the MLB has a 100 OPS+) Suzuki has tallied an OPS+ of 242, thanks to nearly half of his hits being extra-base hits. In both on-base percentage and OPS+, Suzuki leads the Major leagues in both stats and is continuing to climb the ladder in other stats such as batting average and home runs. 

Going along with a perfect fielding percentage, Suzuki has defied all odds that he had coming into the MLB, tallying a 1.1 WAR (wins above replacement; 0 is average for all MLB players);  Along with that, helping the Cubs to perform better throughout the start of the season despite battling a rebuilding-minded front office and poor pitching. In no time, I think Suzuki could be the next superstar of Major League Baseball alongside players like Byron Buxton, Shohei Ohtani, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He could easily be the best player of the next generation, but time will tell for the experienced rookie.

We know that Suzuki may go on a cold streak soon, but for now, Suzuki is starting on the right foot and making a great first impression on the MLB. Being in the top 10 in most hitting statistics in the MLB to start the season is great, but from a rookie, it is more than outstanding. For now, let’s take in Suzuki’s marvelous talents and enjoy the fact that baseball’s talent gap is expanding more and more every season.