Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Reason Kurt Suzuki (C -- Oakland A's) is So Impressive

Work ethic.

Have you ever tried to jump out of 3 1/2 feet of water onto a pool deck 43" tall? Me either because I would fail. The kind of work ethic it takes to develop that kind of leg strength is impressive, but it is that kind of work ethic that Kurt Suzuki embodies. Catcher is one of the toughest positions in baseball for a player who wants to perform consistently as a hitter. Even good hitters can feel the weight of their legs pulling at them, slowing them down, affecting their timing as a game (or even more profoundly the season) drains their energy.

Kurt Suzuki's 2010 season saw a small drop in number of games played, a large drop in batting average, but little change in number of strikeouts or walks to plate appearances. Given the added reduction in doubles, but not home runs, it is possible that Suzuki's performance at the plate was affected by fatigue. It also appears that Suzuki is taking the time this off season to make sure that he can return to the solid numbers he produced in his first two full seasons in the Majors.

When I first saw Suzuki playing for the Sacramento River Cats, I could see that I was watching a remarkably talented player. He is a 1st Team All-American our of Cal-State Fullerton, winner of the Johnny Bench Award, and a joy to watch play.

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