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Ichiro Suzuki has been terrible in the second half

More like Ichiro Suckzuki, amirite?

Al Messerschmidt

Ichiro Suzuki is having a terrible second half in 2013. He compiled a .283/.320/.393 batting line with a 92 wRC+ in the first half, but has fallen to a .238/.262/.262 batting line with a mere 38 wRC+. Ichiro has been a -0.2 WAR player since the All-Star break. That is more than likely fueled from his incredible defensive value because the one Yankee that has been worse than him, Eduardo Nunez with a -0.4 WAR in the second half, actually has a 92 wRC+ as well.

Of all qualified batter in the league, Ichiro currently ranks third worst in wRC+ behind only Alcides Escobar and Trevor Plouffe. He's fourth worst in walk rate with a 2.14%, has the second worst ISO with a .025, and eighth lowest on base percentage with a .262, despite the fact that his value has always been in his ability to get on base. Thankfully, his defense has allowed his WAR to rank as only the seventeenth worst batter in baseball.

Looking for what he is doing wrong, it seems that he's hitting more ground balls (51.1% in the first half vs. 55.4% in the second half) and he's hitting a lot less fly balls (28.1% vs. 22.3%). Along with his very low isolated power, it seems that what little power Ichiro had is now completely gone. He's not really hitting the ball with much authority, so more balls are becoming ground balls. He isn't even getting on base since his walks are down (5.3% vs. 2.4%), essentially making him worthless over the last 38 games he's played.

Sure, his defense is nice, but at this point he really shouldn't be getting playing time over Alfonso Soriano (130 wRC+, 1.2 WAR), Curtis Granderson (141 wRC+, 0.8 WAR) or Brett Gardner (87 wRC+, 0.4 WAR) if he's not going to hit. Even Vernon Wells has been hitting better (101 wRC+, 0.2 WAR), and if Vernon Wells is playing better than you, maybe it's time to reassess your priorities. Oh wait, 2014 says everything is fine.

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