Seiya Suzuki is an intriguing option who fills a need in left field. Are the Nationals willing to take a risk on the righties bat?
Washington’s 2021 offense excelled at getting on base, but struggled to drive runners in. This became an even bigger issue after Washington’s trade deadline firesale. Outside of Juan Soto and Josh Bell, the new-look offense continued to trip over itself when runners were in scoring position.
Outside of fixing the bullpen, Mike Rizzo should set his eyes on improving the offense, mainly targeting middle-of-the-lineup bats. It seems the Nationals have already started and were recently named as a team that has taken interest in Japanese superstar Seiya Suzuki.
Suzuki has spent his entire nine-year career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, hitting .315, with 182 homers, 562 RBIs, and an OPS of .985. He is a three-time Gold Glover, a five-time All-Star, and won a batting title and OBP title.
Nippon Professional Baseball (NBP) is a step below the MLB and not everyone makes the jump. Suzuki would be a risk, but for a team in the middle of a rebuild like the Nationals, they have time to allow Suzuki to adjust.
On Monday Suzuki was posted (think transfer portal) and MLB teams have till December 22 to reach a deal with the Superstar. He follows in the footsteps of Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish, and Masahiro Tanaka of Japanese players looking to carry their success over to MLB.
Fresh off of a 38 homer season, Suzuki’s bat would be a welcoming addition to the Nationals offense. He has an impressive eye at the plate, posting more walks (87) than strikeouts (86).
Defensively, Suzuki thrives in right, but in Washington, he would switch to left due to Soto. Over the past two seasons, he has eight DRS and 12 outfield assists. He has a rocket for an arm that will translate to MLB.
Only 27, Suzuki’s arm and power should be enough for the Nats to take a risk in order to speed up the rebuild.