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Plate Discipline Key to Seiya Suzuki’s Early Success With Cubs

Suzuki has been able to work deep into counts, avoid chasing bad pitches, and draw walks, resulting in some impressive figures.

Seiya Suzuki Stats Chicago Cubs
Photo: MLB.com

A series win on the road against the Colorado Rockies would’ve been nice, but taking two out of four isn’t bad either. The Chicago Cubs had plenty of bright spots throughout the weekend series against the Rockies, but outfielder Seiya Suzuki may have been the brightest one of all. This opposite-field shot late in the game Sunday afternoon was the icing on the cake.

The Source of Seiya’s Success

After spending his entire baseball career in Japan, there were a lot of questions about whether Suzuki could adjust to MLB pitchers. In eight games in the majors so far, he ranks top five in the National League in batting average (.400), home runs (4), RBI (11), walks (9), and OPS (1.503). In nine games with the Cubs, he’s reached base safely in all of them and has a hit in all eight games with an official at-bat (the only Cub to do so since 1945). Those numbers indicate he has adjusted well so far.

Suzuki’s most impressive attribute early on is his plate discipline. He’s been able to work deep into counts, avoid chasing bad pitches, and draw walks. In 40 swings so far this year, Suzuki has four homers, two doubles, and four singles, good for the best ratio of total bases to swings in all of MLB, according to Codify.

Is It Sustainable?

Can Seiya Suzuki keep his hot start going throughout the course of a 162-game season? As with any professional baseball player, he’s bound to enter a slump at some point. But if he can continue to employ impressive plate discipline and stay consistent, who knows, maybe he’s just scratching the surface? One thing is certain: the Summer of Seiya is upon us and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Suzuki won’t have to wait long for his next opportunity to continue his strong start. The Chicago Cubs begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night, the first contest of a seven-game homestand beginning.

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