Chicago Cubs News: Seiya Suzuki's lack of power is a concern

Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki has not seen the expected power development that many fans were hoping for this season.
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Chicago Cubs starting right fielder Seiya Suzuki hit his seventh home run of the season in the team's final game of the first half on Sunday and that form of power has been a rare sight for the outfielder this season.

For Suzuki, many fans were hoping to see the power develop as he entered his second full season in Major League Baseball in 2023 after signing with the Cubs ahead of the 2022 season.

Unfortunately, the first half of the 2023 season did not see the power from Suzuki that many fans had been hoping for. Through 298 plate appearances in the first half of the season, Suzuki is slashing .259/.342/.405 with 7 home runs and a 105 wRC+.

Suzuki's 7 home runs are the second-lowest mark among all qualified National League right fielders this season. Suzuki's ISO, .147, is the third lowest among qualified National League right fielders.

While there are metrics that would suggest that Suzuki should have better power numbers than he has, a 50% hard-hit rate, the fact of the matter is that he is not elevating the ball as he has a groundball rate of 45.3%.

The lack of power from Suzuki this season has to be a concern for the Cubs moving forward. As Suzuki's second season in Major League Baseball is progressing, he is proving to be just another guy as opposed to the impact hitter that the team believed they were signing out of Japan in 2022.

While we may not have reached the point that the Cubs were at with Jason Heyward in right field, Suzuki does have three years remaining on his deal with an AAV of $17MM and that is a hefty price for a right fielder that has offensive metrics that are closer to the average Major League Baseball player as opposed to an impact bat.

With outfield prospects Owen Caissie and Kevin Alcantara beginning to show legitimate power at their respective levels, one has to begin to wonder if either one of them may be the long-term answer in right field for the Cubs as opposed to Suzuki.

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