Can Seiya Suzuki (29, Chicago Cubs) put an end to the cruelty of Japanese batters?
Suzuki, who was a representative hitter for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japanese League (NPB), entered the Major League (MLB) by signing a contract with the Cubs for 5 years and a total of 85 million dollars (approximately 86.5 billion won) ahead of the 2022 season.
In the first 15 games of his opening, Suzuki, who had been on a winning streak with a batting average of 3.7 and hitting 4 home runs, was sluggish with a batting average of 0.211 without a home run for the month of May. It seemed that it would end with a ‘sparkle’ activity.
However, in July, he rebounded with 4 homers and a batting average of .28. The final performance of the 2022 season was a batting average of 0.262 and 14 home runs. 메이저놀이터
Recently, with forecasts for the 2023 season pouring in, MLB.com picked the hitter expected to hit the most home runs by team, and mentioned Suzuki as the number one batter belonging to the Cubs. 25 homers expected for the 2023 season.
MLB.com evaluated that Suzuki did not show his skills in his debut season. Following this, he saw that the potential he proved by hitting 38 home runs in the Japanese league in the 2021 season could be revealed in the 2023 season.
Japanese batters who have recently entered the MLB have largely failed. Akiyama Shogo, who was called a hitting master, returned to the Japanese league, and Tsutsugo Yoshitomo, who was a home run king, also changed teams four times without finding a place. Currently, Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) is the only top player as a hitter. Attention is focusing on whether Suzuki can make a leap forward in the second year of the big league.
MLB.com also mentioned Cody Bellinger. After becoming the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the 2019 season, he went downhill for the next three seasons. He left the Los Angeles Dodgers in his prime and signed with the Cubs.
It is rare for a player to fall like this right after winning the MVP award. The prospect of ‘now is the time to rebound’ remains the same. MLB.com also predicted that if there are no physical problems such as injuries, he has the possibility to show his real skills.