Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ichiro and Bautista Hit MIlestones

Today has been an early day for milestones in Baseball. Playing against each other's teams in Toronto Both Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Bautista have reached personal milestones so here goes.

- Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro continued his climb up the record books by reaching the 200 hits plateau for his 10th consecutive season. This coupled with his Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB)( stats puts him at over 3500 hits for his career (1285 in Japan/2228 in the U.S. ***Not including today). His achievement ties him with the all-time hits leader Pete Rose for total 200 hit seasons and one year ahead of Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. As it is, Ichiro has the season hits record with 262 having passed George Sisler in 2004 and until 2005, he was the only player in the history of the NPB to have 200 or more hits in a season. He still owns the single season record for hits in a season in Japan with 210 which he set in 1994. If Ichiro had played his total career in the U.S. with the numbers he had amassed in Japan we'd be talking about how Ichiro would be in the hunt to catch Pete Rose for the all-time hits record. I'm really not surprised that Ichiro has succeeded at the plate the way he has. I think that Ichiro can absolutely reach 3000 hits here in the U.S. which would just put the cherry on top of a Hall of Fame career.

- Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista continued his magical 2010 season by belting his 50th homerun. In doing so, Bautista became the 26th player in the history of MLB to hit 50 or more homers in a season. Considering how long professional Baseball has been played and the Steroid era, I find that 26 players having hit 50 or more homers to be small club. So I decided to look into who is on the list. Here goes:

Babe Ruth (54 1920, 59 1921, 60 1927, 54 1928)
Hack Wilson (56 1930)
Jimmy Foxx (58 1932, 50 1938)
Hank Greenberg (58 1938)
Johnny Mize (51 1947)
Ralph Kiner (51 1947 54 1949)
Willie Mays (51 1951, 52 1965)
Mickey Mantle (52 1956, 54 1961)
Roger Maris (61, 1961)
George Foster (52 1977)
Cecil Fielder (51 1990)
Albert Belle (50 1995)
Brady Anderson (50 1996)
Mark McGwire (52 1996, 58 1997, 70 1998, 65 1999)
Ken Griffey Jr. (56 1997, 56 1998)
Greg Vaughn (50 1998)
Sammy Sosa (66 1998, 63 1999, 50 2000, 64 2001)
Alex Rodriguez (52 2001, 57 2002, 54 2007)
Luiz Gonzalez (57 2001)
Barry Bonds (73 2001)
Jim Thome (52 2002)
Andruw Jones (51 2005)
Ryan Howard (58 2006)
David Ortiz (54 2006)
Prince Fielder (50 2007)
Jose Bautista (50 2010)

Where does Bautista rate on this list. In my opinion, I think that he is more like Brady Anderson and Luis Gonzalez. Where many of the players on this list hit 30 to 40 homeruns on a consistent basis, Anderson and Gonzalez hovered between the 15 to 25 homerun range. In that case, Bautista is below them since in his 6 years as a major leaguer he has never his 20 homeruns, reach a high of 16 for a season in 2006. I know much has been made about his work with Toronto hitting coach Dwayne Murphy to improve his swing. I guess time will tell if this season was a fluke or if Bautista is the real deal. Either way, welcome to the 50 homerun club.


For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Ichiro's statistics page from Japanese
- Click Here for James Hill's article Ichiro ties record with 10th 200-hit season from
- Click here for Jerry Crasnick's article Strength in Jose Bautista's numbers from
- Click Here for an interesting Jose Bautista fan/blog page


  1. Jack Gallagher of the Japan Times weighs in on the Ichiro/Rose debate in his article dated October 2, 2010 entitled: Ichiro Nowhere Near Player Rose Was. Whether it not you agree with his point of view, the article is an interesting read.

  2. Thanks to Susan of Shrinecastle for this. Marty Kuehnert, Senior Advisor to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the NPB responded to Jack Gallagher's article on the Japan Baseball News website. You can read the article here: How Great is Ichiro?