Fresh off playing nine years in Japan, the Cubs outbid everyone to get his services, and so far, they are far from regretting their decision.
The Japanese star is slashing .343/.520/.743 with four home runs and 12 RBI in his first 13 MLB games.
He is having a lot of success against a particular type of pitch: the fastball.
Good luck against these guys.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) April 22, 2022
Suzuki is sporting a .768 wOBA against four-seam fastballs in the early going, an incredibly high mark.
What Is wOBA?
wOBA means weighted on-base average.
According to MLB.com’s official definition, wOBA is “a version of on-base percentage that accounts for how a player reached base — instead of simply considering whether a player reached base. The value for each method of reaching base is determined by how much that event is worth in relation to projected runs scored (example: a double is worth more than a single).”
In OBP, a home run counts the same as a single.
That is not the case with wOBA and is the reason why the latter is a much better stat to use in modern times.
Suzuki is sure inflicting a lot of damage on fastballs.
His quick wrists and hips allow him to react to them accordingly.
Perhaps we will soon see MLB pitchers adjusting their approach and pitching him a steady diet of curveballs and changeups.
Suzuki, however, is so good and experienced that he should be able to make adjustments if the league starts pitching him differently.
Only time will tell if that will be the case, but he is well on his way to earn the Rookie Of The Year award.