111.7 billion Japanese genius batter’s humiliation… Now, former Hanwha players are outnumbered, but the starting lineup is also at stake

 Suzuki Seiya (29‧ Chicago Cubs) was called a ‘genius hitter’ when he was playing in Japanese professional baseball. In fact, it was clear that he was a well-balanced player in ball, defense, and state. He could hit 300, had the slugging power to hit 20 homers, and had above-average power and defense.메이저사이트

So, even if he goes to a higher league like the major leagues, he is evaluated as ‘a very difficult hitter’ even if he doesn’t know his jackpot. The Chicago Cubs, which lacked outfielders, paid attention to such evaluations. Ahead of the 2022 season, he signed a five-year contract with Suzuki for a total of 85 million dollars (approximately 111.7 billion won). It’s not up to the jackpot level in the free agent (FA) market these days, but it was a relatively large investment for a player with no major league career.

Suzuki’s first year was actually an ambiguous evaluation. It definitely took some time to adjust. The Cubs must have been in the reckoning as well. There were also injuries here. He only appeared in 111 games for the season. In his 111 games, he had a batting average of .262, 14 home runs, 46 RBIs, 9 stolen bases, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.770. He was evaluated as a player with good skills in all areas of ball, defense and state, but he received ambiguous evaluations in all areas of ball, defense and state. He was neither very bad nor very good.

Expectations were high ahead of this season. There was something I adapted to last year. And his patience at the plate was good. He saw the ball relatively well, and it was an advantage that the bat did not follow the manned ball well. There was an expectation that such an attitude at the plate would lead to grades, and the evaluation began to rise as much as he showed off his peak condition at the camp. However, this year’s performance is at a standstill.

As of the 9th (Korean time), Suzuki has played 91 games, but has a batting average of 0.249, 9 homers, 37 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.715. He’s just 9% below league average OPS. It means that the offense is not average. Compared to last year, his slugging percentage has dropped a lot (0.433 → 0.388), and he is unable to find a clear breakthrough. He missed six of his 11 stolen base attempts. Only his defense is so-so. But the Cubs need an offensive outfielder.

In fact, the detailed indicators are not so bad. He has a decent exit velocity and picks up his walks fairly well. He still doesn’t swing a lot. Even so, he still strikes out a lot because he can’t target the power balls coming into the strike zone. He became a completely different type of player in theory and practice.

The Cubs, who are on their way to the postseason, don’t seem to have time to wait for Suzuki any longer. If you look at the time of participation in August, that is the case. The Cubs have an obvious outfielder in Cody Bellinger. Here, an unexpected variable called Mike Tuchman, who signed a minor league contract this year and is using it to his advantage, came out. As a team, Tuchman has no choice but to look that pretty, but for Suzuki, a competitor has appeared to take his playing time.

Tuckman, who played for Hanwha in the KBO League last year and returned to the U.S. without being able to renew his contract, returned to the major leagues this year. He put his minor league contract behind him and established himself with his skills. He was initially a backup player, but his proportion continues to expand. It’s the complete opposite curve to the Suzuki.

Tuchman continues to have a chance to play with a good performance of 0.284 batting average, 0.375 on-base percentage, 7 home runs, 41 RBIs, and 0.817 OPS in 65 games for the season. His at-bats are slightly different, but he has better offensive production than Suzuki. His defensive power is also not inferior to Suzuki’s. The Cubs, which prioritize team performance over individual players, should use better players. It’s only natural that Tuchman will have more appearances.

Suzuki is only 9 at-bats despite not having any major injuries in August. He came on as a pinch hitter in the 8th and stayed on the bench in the 9th. On the other hand, Tuchman has already completed 27 at-bats in August. More than Suzuki. And as Tuchman made an outstanding performance with a batting average of 0.407 and an OPS of 1.210 in August, Suzuki’s vacancy is not felt at all. It would not be wrong to say that the game of the main game has changed now.

In an interview with Major League Baseball’s official website (MLB.com) on the 9th, Suzuki said, “I don’t feel bad during practice. “I think,” he said, “I’m not in the best condition right now. All the players who are going out now are players who are producing results. I have to get my place back.”

Of course, the team dynamics between Suzuki, an $85 million player, and Tuchman, who signed a minor league contract, are not the same. In the end, the Cubs have the task of keeping Suzuki alive. Whether or not to transfer Bellinger, who is eligible for free agency after this season, is also under consideration. However, if Suzuki’s slump deepens, the Cubs can’t wait.

The diagnosis of the local media is that it is necessary to find a breakthrough in the modified fastball game that has become more persistent. Suzuki’s slugging percentage against fastballs in April was a good 0.533, but only 0.490 in May, 0.227 in June, 0.288 in July and 0.167 in August. This is the slugging percentage, not the batting average. Success in the major leagues is impossible if you can’t hit the fastball.

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