Ichiro Suzuki has had a Hall of Fame worthy career and he’s essentially a lock at this point to get a bust in Cooperstown. But while his production throughout his career is well known and widely recognized as some of the best stats baseball has ever seen, the New York Yankees are starting to wonder if those numbers are all behind Ichiro and if the end is finally here.
Derek Albin of Pinstripe Bible crunched Ichiro’s numbers as of late and came to the conclusion of lot of fans might not want to hear – Ichiro Suzuki is on his way out of baseball.
Ichiro’s certainly done as a regular, and truthfully has been finished since 2011 with the exception of one month. The other outfield candidates are simply better: Brett Gardner gets on base more frequently and is an elite defender, there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic about Vernon Wells for the rest of the season, and Curtis Granderson needs no rationalization.
The Yankees acquired Ichiro last year before the July trade deadline in a deal with the Seattle Mariners. The Japanese outfielder burst onto the scene back in 2000 and has since dominated hitting stats, amassing close to 3,000 hits in his MLB career and almost 4,000 hits if you lump in the 1,278 hits he picked up while playing with the Orix BlueWave of the Japanese League.
He’s probably not going to retire short of getting 3,000 hits, as he’s one of the best hitters to ever play the game. Had Ichiro come directly into Major League Baseball when he started his professional career in 1992, he very well could have finished his career with the most hits ever, topping Pete Rose’s current record of 4,256.
But the legend is on his way out, and as he sinks further and further back on the depth chart, picking up those 361 hits needed to make it into the 3,000 hit club.