Miami Marlins: The Reliability of Ichiro

charlieclarke
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The 2015 season for the Marlins has been one portrayed by the inconsistent performance of players. Injuries have rattled the roster and underwhelming statistics have led MLB’ers to minor league stints.

The one constant for the Marlins has been Ichiro Suzuki. This season, his value has been overlooked, much like in his career, where the 41-year-old has proven to be underrated nearly every step of the way.

Ichiro stands as a generational figure in the game of baseball. His outstanding hit totals, batting average, fielding, and overall demeanor make him one of the best to touch the field.

His consistency in 2015 has been displayed evidently. Despite his position as a fourth outfielder, Ichiro leads the Marlins in games played with 135.

Checking out his production this season, he hasn’t played that well. Offensively, his numbers are less than impressive. He was never a power hitter, so his one homer isn’t disappointing. Other than that, he’s slashed .246/.301/.303 with 20 RBI, 41 R, and 11 SB.

Defensively, Fangraphs ranks him above average at his position with their Def metric, which stands at +3.5. But overall, Ichiro’s WAR lands at -0.1. 

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So why are we marveling over Ichiro?

Well, for many reasons. Let’s take his past out of the way, which we could marvel over forever. But first, Ichiro is a ‘lead by example’ type of player. He may not necessarily be the energetic guy, or try to lead the team, but I can guarantee many Marlins players model part of themselves after Ichiro and how he approaches the game.

Ichiro has also proven his reliability. Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton have all missed considerable amounts of time this season, in which Ichiro has stepped in just fine.

I’d argue that Ichiro came at a bargain. Signing the veteran to a one-year, $2 million deal prior to 2015 proved to be a great investment. Not many with his type of experience would be willing to sign such a deal.

And yes, this season has been a disappointment, but Ichiro has definitely taught some Marlins how to play the game correctly. Overall, the most consistent man on the team has been a great influence on a young Marlins club.

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