He's probably not the greatest player in MLB history, but he may be one of the best hitters to ever step foot in a batter's box. It all started when Ichiro Suzuki, who played in Japan and held seven batting titles, came over to the states to play in the big leagues. In 2001, Ichiro was signed by the Seattle Mariners and the rest is history.
After his rookie year ended, Ichiro became only the second player in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award in the same season. In his rookie year, Ichiro had 242 hits, eight home runs, 69 runs batted in and 56 stolen bases, along with a slash line of .350/.381/.457.
Ichiro isn't the type of player to hit 20 home runs a year, but his on-base consistency has always been unbelievable. With a 3.6 home-to-first, it's no wonder he gets so many infield base hits. Ichiro joined the 3000-hit club during the 2016 season, going a select group of people. Ichiro has amassed a whopping 3030 career hits. He also holds multiple MLB records under his belt, including most hits in a single season at 262, singles in a single season at 225 and, the most impressive one, 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons (also hit .300+ in each season).
Ichiro is also incredibly fast, as mentioned earlier, posting a 3.5 home-to-first his swing style might also have a lot to do with that. Ichiro is notorious for his unorthodox running swing, which more so helps him get to first base a lot faster than most players. Barry Bonds once said in a video that if Ichiro were to participate in the Home Run Derby that he would win, no problem. Watching him hit in batting practice, he always gets the head of the bat through the zone, while having one of the most level swings in baseball.
Jason Lambertino is a writer for Hardball Scoops on Scout.com