Explaining the Ichiro SlumpIchiro Suzuki has taken a wrong turn on the road to Cooperstown
His BA is .257 a little off from a career average of .332.
Ichiro’s OBP is .319 which has brought his career number down to .378.
So what is the problem? Let’s look at his Pitch Data Summary courtesy of the Baseball Reference.
Ichiro is making contact. He is connecting on 93% of all pitches that he swings at, which is close to Wade Boggs numbers. Mr. Boggs made contact on 96% of his swings in one season, an absolutely phenomenal number. Ichiro overall averages 89%. In comparison the MLB average is only 80%.
He is swinging at more balls out of the strike zone, as evidenced by his PDS. Ichiro is not a great bad ball hitter and it shows, though conversely he is getting more walks than usual as he is averaging a BB per 11 plate appearances.
So the question for 2008 will be is Ichiro off to a slumping start or has his ability to drive the ball into the gap deteriorated at the ripe “old” age of 34?