Chicago Cubs: Kurt Suzuki could represent a solid back-up option

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: An ageless wonder

Kurt Suzuki has never been flashy. In fact, he’s the polar opposite of the term. When you think of Suzuki, one word comes to mind: consistent. For Cubs’ fans comparison, Suzuki carries a kind of David Ross aura in the game of baseball, which is hardly a bad thing.

Suzuki has been in Major League Baseball for 12 years. In that span, he has played for four separate teams. During that time, Suzuki has been an incredibly consistent performer wherever he played. For instance, in his career, only once has Suzuki produced a negative WAR.

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The previous two seasons for Suzuki, his age 33 and 34 seasons, he has been nothing short of impressive for a catcher who is seemingly in the final leg of his career. In 2017, Suzuki hit 19 home runs, drove in 50 runs and posted a fantastic .372 wOBA and 127 wRC+. He finished with a 2.6 WAR. Last season, Suzuki finished along a similar plane, finishing with 12 home runs, 50 runs batted in and a still above-average .335 wOBA and 108 wRC+. Surprisingly, Suzuki kept the production up, with another great WAR season of 2.0.

He also increased his overall Z-Contact% from 91.2 to 92.3 percent. While this is not a significant increase regarding pitches he made contact with, seeing a boost last season is indeed a positive thing regarding his ability to continue to produce moving forward.

Regarding his defense, Suzuki has never been the strongest fielding catcher. Outside of his first three seasons in the league, his numbers have been down. Over the past three seasons, Suzuki is averaging 12.3 runners caught stealing, while allowing an average of 48 successful stolen base opportunities. That being said, the Cubs do not need Suzuki to be anything more than what he is.