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Thread: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ycn-8667461

    The Philadelphia Phillies' recent Interleague series against the Seattle Mariners allowed their fans to see one of baseball's best hitter in this current era.

    Ichiro Suzuki(notes) broke into professional baseball when he was 18 years old. He wasn't a regular during the first two years of his career. It wasn't until his third season that he played a full season and had 210 hits and a .385 batting average.

    However, the only problem with Ichiro's first nine seasons of statistics is that they aren't recognized by Major League Baseball because he was playing for the Orix Blue Wave in the Japanese League.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Best hitter of all time? Uhhhh, no.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Let me preface this by saying that Ichiro is probably my favorite non-Red of all time and I think you owe it to yourself to see him in person before he hangs up the spikes. Ichiro is an amazing hitter and an even better defender; his arm is flat out terrifying and no one bothers to run on him anymore. He is certainly one of the best hitters of all time, but his lack of power numbers would put him at the bottom of that elite list. There are simply too many hitters who have had a broader skill set.

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Reds, totally agree with your assessment. I just can't put him in the same category as guys like Williams, Musial, Gehrig, etc.

    One could make the argument though that he is on the short list of best lead off hitters of all time.
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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post

    One could make the argument though that he is on the short list of best lead off hitters of all time.
    Not disputing the statement, but better than Rickey Henderson? I'm talking for all that both brought to the table.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Ichiro is a guy who had some truly elite skills. But if by "best hitter" we mean "hitter who was able to produce the most runs" then no, he wasn't remotely close.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    Not disputing the statement, but better than Rickey Henderson? I'm talking for all that both brought to the table.
    Ichiro is on the short list. Henderson is #1 in my opinion but one could argue that Ichiro is right behind him.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

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  9. #8
    We are the angry mob cincyinco's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    I don't think best hitter means anything other than getting hits. HR and RBI are power and opportunity. Ichiro is an elite talent IMO, one of the best the game has ever had and I feel fortunate to have watched him in my lifetime. That's the bottom line.
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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincyinco View Post
    I don't think best hitter means anything other than getting hits. HR and RBI are power and opportunity. Ichiro is an elite talent IMO, one of the best the game has ever had and I feel fortunate to have watched him in my lifetime. That's the bottom line.
    He is easily a first ballot HOFer IMHO.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Best of all time? Probably not. Ted Williams would have something to say about that. But I do believe if Ichiro had played his entire career in the U.S. he would have broken Pete's all time hit record. He has over 2,000 hits in about ten years. Just expand that out to 20 years and he's right there with Pete.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  12. #11
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Perspective re: Japan.

    Wlad Balentein is a superstar there.

  13. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Best?

    Best deadball hitter since 1920, best hitter?

    Nah.

    a complete anomaly in today's game.

    In fact only 9 players have the rate stats that Ichiro has (high Ba + low slugging + high OB%)

    Code:
    CAREER
    OBA >= .375
    SLG <= .450
    AVERAGE >= .325
    RCAA displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    AT BATS >= 3500
    
    RUNS CREATED/GAME              RC/G      OBA      SLG      AVG     RCAA      AB     
    1    Billy Hamilton            11.55     .455     .432     .344      802     6268   
    2    John McGraw               10.75     .465     .410     .334      442     3924   
    3    Cap Anson                  9.49     .395     .446     .329      730     9101   
    4    Jesse Burkett              9.04     .415     .447     .338      713     8421   
    5    Eddie Collins              7.19     .424     .429     .333      747     9948   
    6    Willie Keeler              7.14     .388     .415     .341      416     8591   
    7    Wade Boggs                 7.12     .415     .443     .328      556     9180   
    8    Ichiro Suzuki              6.61     .376     .430     .331      328     6779   
    9    Rod Carew                  6.26     .393     .429     .328      491     9315
    Last edited by westofyou; 06-21-2011 at 09:28 AM.

  14. #13
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    Ichiro has never even been the best hitter in a single season in the major leagues. The guy is a very good hitter, but IMO a great hitter, much less the best of all time, needs to be more than a singles hitter.

  15. #14
    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    One of the best, but definitely not THE best. Sure would have been interesting to see him play his entire career in MLB though.

    I was wondering when we were going to start to see some noticeable drop-off in his game and it finally happened this year. It's understandable though -- the guy is 37.

  16. #15
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Is Ichiro the best hitter of all time?

    We remember players from our past more fondly.

    Ichiro may be the most unique and difficult player to defend. The guy can spray line drives all over the place but the infield has to play in to defend against his speed.


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