The Chicago Cubs won the Seiya Suzuki sweepstakes this offseason and the immediate returns have been even more impactful than most starry-eyed optimists would have imagined. After putting up boffo offensive seasons in Japan for the past few years, he's acclimated to Major League Baseball immediately, finding ways to impact the game in every dimension and providing a shot in the arm for team desperate to rebuild toward relevance.
Through 10 games Suzuki is hitting .400 and has an OPS of .938. The power has been on display, with four bombs and 10 RBIs. So has the ability to reach base in myriad ways, take the extra 90 feet, and provide a dynamic weapon the heart of the order.
He's making history for the Cubs with a nine-game hitting streak, the longest to start a career with the franchise since 1943. He's reached base in every game he's played, and reached twice in eight of his nine starts. These efforts earned him National League Player of the Week honors for what could be the first of many times.
It has to feel like Christmas on the North Side — and not just because this early homestand has taken place among flurries. To see Suzuki display his expansive skill set and give a window into all the things he can do as a player to win, is a tremendous gift.
On Monday evening against the Rays he induced an error on an infield chopper, was narrowly nabbed trying to stretch a single into a double, and scampered home with the go-ahead run. With certain guys you get the sense that they are always a catalyst for action and with Suzuki it seems obvious.
There might be a regression to the mean coming, yet it's clear that anytime he steps on the field he has a great chance to alter the outcome in some form of fashion. The honeymoon phase is supposed to be fun. And that's exactly what's happening right now as a fanbase falls deeper in love every day.