Though Suzuki is now limited to a part-time role, the Japanese outfielder should usurp Dawson within the next few weeks, as he's on pace to finish the season with 258 at-bats. Suzuki's effectiveness has unquestionably waned over the last few years, yet he carries a strong .309/.371/.351 slash line into Friday's game against the Kansas City Royals.
Suzuki appears rather unlikely to join the vaunted 3,000-hit club, but he can hardly be faulted if he ultimately falls short. He didn't debut in the major leagues until he was 27 years old, after establishing himself as a superstar in Japan. Suzuki immediately made an impact, earning American League MVP honors as a rookie on the strength of an MLB-leading 242 hits and AL-best .350 batting average.
He went on to top the 200-hit mark in each of his first 10 seasons, a feat that hasn't been accomplished by any other player and quite possibly never will be. No batter aside from Suzuki has recorded 200 hits in nine or more consecutive seasons, much less 10 in a row to start a career.
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