Baseball Notebook

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Ichiro: Chance For 3000 Hits?

Ichiro Suzuki hitting his fifth homer of the 2009 season yesterday.

Ichiro Suzuki hitting his fifth homer of the 2009 season yesterday.

Ichiro Suzuki is on track for another 200 hit season. Suzuki started the 2009 season on the disabled list and has missed eight games. However he still has maintained the 34 hits a month pace needed to finish with 200 hits in 2009.

His four hit game yesterday gives him 68 hits at the end of May. He will match Ty Cobb if he can post his ninth 200 hits season this year but it took Cobb 18 seasons to accomplish the feat.

Pete Rose had 200 hits ten times in his career and had 198 in two other seasons. He didn’t have his ninth 200 hit season until his 15th season.

The game yesterday also extended his hitting streak to 24 games. Ichiro has failed to get a hit in only four games this season in 43 games played. He failed to get a hit on April 28 but since then only failed to get a hit on May 5 and now  it is June 1.

His .484 slugging percentage is 98 points higher than his .386 slugging percentage of 2008.

If he can maintain his 34 hits a month pace he will reach the 2000 hit plateau in September. He would also have 200 hits for the ninth consecutive season.

Ichiro homered every 114.3 times at bat in 2008 but is homering every 38.4 times at bat in 2009.

He has not been nearly as successful stealing bases this season having been caught four times while stealing eight bases. Last season he was caught four times while stealing 43 bases.

No player today probably has hit into fewer double plays during their career than Ichiro. He has hit into only one double play this season and has never hit into more than eight double plays in a season.

When adding his Japanese stats he has 3,151 hits as of today. He won’t be 36 until October 22 so if he plays five more seasons and continues to get 200 hits each season he would register his 3000th American hit in 2014 at the age of 40.

There is a chance he could even better the mark of  Rose for career hits who has 4256 lifetime hits.

He never played in a MLB game till the age of 27 making any feats he accomplishes even more remarkable.

3000 Hit Facts: 27 players are in the 3000 hit club. Only two of those players hit a triple or home run for the 3000th hit. Paul Molitor is the only player to triple for his 3000th hit while Wade Boggs homered for his 3000th hit.

Some of the great players who missed reaching 3000 hits by less than 100 hits and hits they needed to reach the 3000 hit plateau:

Sam Rice – 13 hits

Sam Crawford – 39 hits

Frank Robinson – 57 hits

Barry Bonds – 65 hits

Roger Hornsby – 70 hits

Al Simmons – 73 hits

The players mentioned are in the Hall of Fame with the exception of Barry Bonds who may never enter the Hall of Fame because of steroids issues.

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6 thoughts on “Ichiro: Chance For 3000 Hits?

  1. Nice insight, we only wonder what might have been if Ichiro played his entire career in MLB. Would Pete’s hit record be in jeporady? What about Rickey’s lead off HR record? Ichiro might be better than them all. How long before we see Japanese rosters in the US?

  2. If Ichiro had played his entire career in U.S. he would be known as one of the best hitters in baseball history. He possibly would have had a chance to pass Pete Rose in hits.

    It may be a long time before we see Japanese rosters in the U.S. No other Japanese hitter comes close to Ichiro except maybe Hideki Matsui but he is more of a power hitter than a hitter who hits for average.

  3. Maryland Steve on said:

    You left out one thing in your article, and the most important: Ichiro got 262 hits in a single season, breaking George Sisler’s 80-plus-year-old record. Ironically, the only player who has a chance to break Ichiro’s record is Ichiro himself. Ichiro ranks with the greatest pure hitters of all time: Hornsby, Cobb, Gwynn, Carew, Sisler, Williams, and Musial. Hopefully, he will reach 3,000 hits, but either way he is a lock on the Hall of Fame, the first Japanese player to make it.

    Bonzai, Ichiro-san!

    • I agree Ichiro is only player capable of beating his record of 262 hits in a season. Ichiro needs 35 hits for another 200 hit season and it is only August 9th….and that was despite missing the first nine games of the season.

      Ichiro is 28th in lifetime batting average at .3330 with Hall of Famers like Stan Musial, Rod Carew, Honus Wagner and Joe DiMaggio having lower lifetime averages.

      Albert Pujols is 24th with a .3337 average.

  4. stuart smith on said:

    didnt he also not go more than two games without a hit for a long time i know they were keeping track of that i just cant find if he beat the record or not .

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