Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/1/12

Have we seen the end of Ichiro Suzuki as a productive fantasy outfielder? I’m going to say no, but we are definitely getting close. Ichiro hit under .300 for the first time in his career (.272) and posted his worst ISO (.064) in 2011. He’s also gone three straight years with fewer than 90 runs scored. That being said, he still stole 40 bases last year, his .295 BABIP was much lower than his career rate (.351) and his xBA (.293) was not the usual .310-plus but undoubtedly better than the .272 we saw. I think Ichiro can get back to hitting .300 with close to 40 steals for at least one more season, but the Mariners offense is so bad these days that 90 runs is unfortunately the best case for him.

Best case scenario: Michael Bourn (ATL) with fewer runs
Similar players: Cameron Maybin (SD), Emilio Bonifacio (MIA), Coco Crisp (OAK)
Worst case scenario: Juan Pierre (PHI)

Strengths

Steals, batting average. Even at 37, Ichiro posted back-to-back 40-steal seasons with an 83.7 percent success rate. As for his batting average, I don’t see him posting a sub-.300 BABIP again so he should be back around .300.

Weaknesses

Age, power. Ichiro’s endurance over his career has been pretty amazing. He’s played in at least 161 games in seven of his last eight seasons, but you have to think age will catch up with him eventually.

ADP Report (104.9)

Even though Ichiro is on the downside of his career, he’s a pretty good value in the 11th round. Before, when Ichiro was being drafted as an OF1 he had to hit .330 to bring back equal value, but with his current ADP he only needs to hit around .300 to keep his owners happy. I think for the first time in his career we can say Ichiro is being underrated in drafts.

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