2011 Fantasy Baseball: Can Ichiro Save His Batting Average?

Can Ichiro save his 2011 regular season batting average?

Ichiro Suzuki has been well-known throughout his entire MLB career as an excellent base-hitter.  Mr. Ichiro Suzuki sports a career .329 average and in 10 major league seasons, has never finished a single-season batting below .303, while playing pretty much every day.  In 2009, Ichiro played in 146 single-season games, which is his career-low in terms of total games played in a single-season.  146 games is still a lot of games to play in.  He has played in at least 157 games out of a 162-game season in all other 9 years of his career aside from 2009.  He has played in all 162 games in a season three times in his career and 161 games, also three times in his 10-year career. 

The man plays everyday which has to be awfully tough to do.  Very few people can do that.  Is it something in that Japanese green tea?  They’ve got to be doing something right because we Americans don’t stay that healthy!  Cal Ripken was a special case too when it came to playing every day.  He must’ve been drinking that green tea as well!

Ichiro’s career-low in total regular season hits was 206 back in 2005.  That was actually considered a down year for him.  Ichiro’s career-high, single-season hit record is 262 set in 2004.    Just to give some perspective for those not so familiar with baseball.  For a hitter, getting at least 200 hits in a full major league season while batting .300 or more all year-long and playing nearly every single day for the past 10 years, is similar to a running back in the NFL rushing for 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns for every year of his career, for 10 years in a row while also never missing a game during each season—pretty impressive huh?

Or in basketball, that would be like a player averaging 30 points and 11 rebounds every year, for the past 10 years and only missing about 15 total games during those 10 years.  Could you imagine owning a player like that in a fantasy keeper league? Oh how sweet that would be, but I digress.

Anyway, the point in all this is not to gloat about Ichiro’s un-godly hitting, ability to never miss a game and great speed, by the way he stole his 400th and 401st base today, but it’s to ask the question:  Can Ichiro save his 2011 regular-season batting average?  As of today, June 16th, 2011, 1:48 am eastern time, week 12 into the regular season, Ichiro Suzuki is batting a mere .269, which by the way is on the up-swing, if that is any sort of indication to you on how bad things have been going.

Since May 19th of 2011, Ichiro’s batting average has been in the .200’s.  The lowest he saw his average at this year was .252 on June 9th of the 2011 regular-season.  Prior to 2011, between every other “June 9th” of his entire career, .305 was the lowest his average had ever been at that same point in time during the regular season—June 9th.  So just to make things very clear, Ichiro is having the worst hitting season of his career right now and we all want to know if he’ll rebound or actually finish the year below .300 for once!

Not that I want him too, but hey, he wouldn’t be the only athlete-superstar to suddenly have a drop-off in production from out of nowhere.  Do Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison and 2010 Chone Figgins ring a bell?  I’m sure they do.  One year they’re at the top of their games and then the next year they completely fall off the map, each for their own reasons.  Man it was a pain to own those guys on my fantasy teams like I did during those times.  That really sucked!

So back to my burning question:  Is Ichiro really still good enough to save his batting average and get it back up to over .300 before the regular season ends in about three and a half months, or will this be the first time he finishes a regular season in 10 years with an average not above at least .303–his career-low set back in 05?

Go figure the one year that I finally get to own Ichiro in my main fantasy league, he pans out to be in the worst year of his career.  I guess that’s just how things roll sometimes, but we will see if I was just one year too late to catch another 200-hit season out of Ichiro, or if he can rebound in a big way and start to get some 4 for 5 games under his belt en route to a more Ichiro-like batting average and hit total by regular seasons’ end.

He seems to be on the right track after the Mariners skipper decided to finally give him a much needed day off.  Since Ichiro’s last day off on June 10th, 2011 against the Detroit Tigers, Ichiro has had at least 2 hits in each of his 5 games since he’s been back.  Stay hot Ichiro, I’m cheering for you to keep that single-season, consecutive, “above-200-hit record” and “above-.300-batting average record” going.

Questions, comments, short-circuits, doubts, or cloudy systems?  E-mail me: 


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