Yet another pro-Ichiro post: he’s a Hall of Famer
Every time I hear that the M’s clubhouse is certain to be improved by having a future Hall of Famer there, I yell “they already had one!”
And potentially two, with Felix’s potential.
I’m entirely serious. If you count Ichiro’s NPB time, you’d elect him tomorrow. But if you only count his hitting to date, no credit for defense at all, and you only look at a very superficial stuff that seems to count in voting… Ichiro’s an MVP, Rookie of the Year, 8-time All-Star, 8-time Gold Glove winner, led the league in hits five times, holds the single-season record for hits.
You give him any credit for being the first Japanese position player to find such success, which at the time remember was far from a given, and which led the way for Matsui and a host of others, if you give him credit for his defense, and particularly if you’re willing to give him any recognition at all for his time in Japan, he’s a shoe-in.
And that’s not even getting into advanced stat-foo and constructing some serious forward projections at career marks, valuing defense, and so on.
The Mariners have two Hall of Fame hitters in the clubhouse now.