Originally written on Fantasy Baseball 365  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Picimg_tampa_bay_rays_0627
Key Stats: Going back to 2006 (and probably further, but I don't keep records that far back) Ichiro Suzuki has not been ranked worse than 116 in any season. When we talk about the term consistency in fantasy baseball Ichiro is the standard which we based that term off of. Despite being on the worst offense for the second straight year in all of baseball, Ichiro has never had a season in which he has finished with fewer than 74 runs in 11 seasons. He also has had at least 26 steals every season including last year when he finished with 40. 

Skeptics Say: The season that Ichiro was ranked 116 was last season. A large part of that is the players around him, but those players aren't expected to change drastically. He averaged 111 runs per season from 2001 through 2008, but only finished with an average of 81 runs per season over the last three years. The most notable concern with Ichiro is that his average not only fell under .300 for the first time last season, but his average fell under .280.

Peer Comparison: Ichiro was the only outfielder over 31 years old that stole more than 30 bases last season. He did it by a healthy margin. He will be 38 next season, but his speed is still a teriffic asset to any fantasy team. He's never a flashy pick and aging. That could lead to some very cheap steals (among other numbers if things turn for the M's offense). Here are the outfielders that stole 40 or more last season.

Coco Crisp: Stole 47 bases (career high) & has averaged 114 games per season since 2004
Brett Gardner: Stole 49 bases & hit 13 points lower than Ichiro 
Michael Bourn: Stole 61 bases, but was worse than Ichiro in the rankings every year but 2011
Matt Kemp: Stole 40 bases & won't come cheap
Emilio Bonifacio: Stole 40 bases & was never more than a utility infielder before last year
Drew Stubbs: Stole 40 bases, but was a batting average killer
Cameron Maybin: Stole 40 bases in a breakout season, but still had ranking worse than Ichiro

Ichiro can make himself useful in a number of formats.

Lineup Outlook: Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak are the best hopes for Ichiro getting back into the century mark as far as runs are concerned. Smoak's average doesn't look great, but he did have an extra base hit once every 10 at-bats (a better rate than Adam Lind among others). Among players with at least 250 plate appearances, Ackley was in the top 20 in baseball in terms of pitches seen per plate appearance. Given that Ackley was the team's number three hitter last year and could project there again this year, that bodes well for Ichiro's potential to steal bases. 

What They're Saying: CBS Sportsline: #38 Outfielder; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #28 Outfielder & #93 Overall; RotoChamp: #119 Overall

Projection: Ichiro's BABIP was insanely unlucky last season. He did have a lot more pop ups to the infield, but a BABIP that fell 56 points below his career BABIP was terribly unlucky. The average will return to the .300 territory, but who knows if he can keep playing 160 games and getting 40 steals.
81 R 5 HR 49 RBI 35 SB .303 AVG .340 OBP.710 OPS in 660 plate appearances 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Russell Wilson to suit up for Texas Rangers Saturday

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.