New star in Chicago


Josh Avila, Staff Reporter

On March 16th, the Chicago Cubs made their biggest splash of the offseason by signing Japanese star Seiya Suzuki. Chicago signed him to a massive five years, $85 million, to make sure he got an offer he could not refuse. He has made a big name for himself playing for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He hit almost 200 home runs, over 1000 hits, over 600 runs batted in, and an OPS of 943 in Japan. He has been named the biggest star out of Japan since arguably the most talented baseball player to ever live, Shohei Ohtani. The ball flies off his bat, and that is something the Cubs have really needed since they traded away their main core at the deadline of last year. MLB also projected Suzuki to win National League rookie of the year in 2022. Nick Madrigal and other Cubs players helped to recruit Suzuki while he was a free agent and it paid off. 

Some players out of Japan have not panned out in the MLB because in Japan baseball is played differently. The pitchers throw about 3 MPH slower, which could mess up the timing and it’s hard for some players to adjust. “I think he’ll do good, but he might have trouble adjusting” says sophomore Drew Firszt. Suzuki is starting to adjust to the MLB already, after his first two games of being quiet at the plate, he hit two home runs, and a couple of other hits. He has incredibly good plate discipline, and that has allowed him to walk as much as he strikes out, which is rare in this age of baseball. Opening Day for the Cubs is April 7th, and I cannot wait to see him play every day instead of every other day like Spring Training. 

I do not have the highest expectations for Suzuki in year one because of the adjustments, but the sky’s the limit for him. I think he will hit about 30 home runs this season, but he can hit 40 plus. He is the best player currently on the Cubs roster, and he will be for a while. He is a special player who will undoubtedly put up numbers this year.