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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 45: Why Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki Is Still A Top-50 Player

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Ichiro’s value has declined in recent seasons thanks to the lack of a true run-producer in the Mariners lineup. After averaging 111 runs per season from 2001 to 2008, Ichiro has scored just 88 and 74 runs in each of the last two seasons.

The acquisitions of Jack Cust, Miguel Olivio, and the potential that Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley bring, however, could help Ichiro reach 100 runs in 2011. This would go a long way in solidifying his spot among fantasy’s top 50 players.

Ichiro’s run-scoring totals, however, aren’t where his value lies. There’s something to be said about a player who can steal 40 bases and compete for a batting title each season.

Despite entering his age-37 season, Ichiro has maintained a stolen base percentage above 80 in recent years. Given that he’s averaged 39 steals over the last five seasons, there’s no reason to think he can’t push for 40 again in 2011.

Ichiro has remained among the league-leaders in contact rate (89.1 percent in 2010, MLB average 80.7 percent), and has hit .350 twice in the last four years.

Given an improved lineup, Ichiro remains capable of leading the league in at-bats and plate appearances, posting 100 runs, 40 steals and single-handedly winning the batting average category for you each week. Not many players can say that. Ichiro is our 14th-ranked outfielder, No. 45 overall.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 732 74 6 43 42 .315
3-year average 720 88 8 44 37 .325
2011 FBI Forecast 730 100 8 50 40 .327

 

Image courtesy of: Yasuo Hirao

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