Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fantasy Plus: Ichiro

Time for the first player in this new feature, CF Ichiro, who's too good to have a last name. To me, Ichiro has been one of the best players in the MLB, during his whole career, which isn't an easy thing to do for most players. He has the abilities to hit for power, but chooses to put the ball on the ground. For this series, I will start by giving you what other sites say, and then what I say. So, let's get her started.

Suzuki, who led the majors with 238 hits, said former manager Bob Melvin did the same thing for him at the end of 2004. Ichiro's .351 average was second to Detroit's Magglio Ordonez (.363) in the AL batting race. Expect to spend a high draft pick on him again in 2008.

You can't get a much more complete mix of speed and raw hitting ability than Ichiro, who has never finished with lower than a .303 batting average, 101 runs scored or 31 stolen bases in his seven years in the States. Quoting those numbers, in fact, does him a disservice; he has averaged .333-112-39 numbers in those categories per season. At 34, Ichiro has shown no signs of slowing down, and he'll resume his traditional role as the Mariners' center fielder and table-setter. Folks, this is about as consistent as they come.

The Mariners would like to see their best player, Ichiro Suzuki, run more often in 2008, according to "As much as he gets on base, and as fast as he is, there's no telling how many bases he could steal in a season," GM John McLaren said. "But we don't want him running just to run. There has to be a purpose behind it." The number that was floated out there was 80, but given the fact that Ichiro hasn't stolen more than 45 bases the past six seasons, a more realistic goal might be 50 since he stole 56 bags as a rookie.

My Analysis
Ichiro has slowly slid down the draft depth charts, because it seems that everybody wants power hitters. If your lucky, he may be available come the second round, pick him up. You can count on him for a .300 BA, and 200 hits. Now that McLaren wants Ichiro to run, we could see that SB number jolt up. He has some of the best speed that you are going to see. In leagues that value hits, average and stolen bases, this guy's value goes even higher. He will likely be contending again for the AL batting title. You will be using a high pick on him, and you won't be dissapointed.

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