According to a recent interview with Andrew Baggarly of the athlete, Japanese star Seiya Suzuki, mentioned that he is still determined to make his move from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball to Major League Baseball once a new collective bargaining agreement is signed.
Since news broke that Suzuki would be fielded by his Japanese team, several MLB teams have expressed interest in the 27-year-old Japanese star. Even rivals of the American League West, Seafarers from Seattle and Texas Rangers, have publicly stated that they are high on Suzuki and have been dating him.
Neither the Houston Astros nor Seiya Suzuki have shown any public interest in each other.
Considering the Astros certainly need a prolific veteran hitter, could a union between Suzuki and the Astros work?
Since we all have nothing better to do while MLB owners and MLBPA bicker over money, rules and semantics, let’s take a look at the Suzuki as a player, the needs of the Astros Big League and how those two might fit together.
If you’re not an avid supporter of Nippon Professional Baseball, Suzuki is a 27-year-old fielder who plays for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. You may also remember him from the 2020 Olympics (played in 2021) where Japan won gold in baseball against the United States.
In addition, he has put together an entire career throughout his career. In his nine seasons in NPB, Suzuki is posting .315/.415/.571 on 182 home runs in 901 games. In the last 2021 season alone, Suzuki hit a career-high 38 home runs and 1,075 OPS with a nearly 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 131 games.
As with any player coming from an international organization, there is a concern that the success might not be implemented. There are many arguments for and against the argument.
Watching Suzuki, however, it’s clear he’s got good touch, patience on the plate, defensive ability, plenty of power and tools that should have no problem translating into MLB production. In general, it’s just hard to discount a player who’s a five-time all-star in a pro league in nine seasons.