I have been an Ichiro fan for as long as I can remember. Really my only true ‘favorite’ baseball player of all time. I like Vlad too, especially when I used to play baseball on my PSP, but it’s just not the same. Here are the stats:
- Career stats: .331 batting average, 1805 hits, 885 runs, and 315 stolen bases
- Won Rookie of the Year and AL MVP in 2001
- Has won a gold glove in each of his 8 seasons in the Majors. Also has been selected to the All-Star team every year (All-Star Game MVP in 2007 when he hit an inside the park homerun)
- Holds the single season record with 262 hits (’04). Has had over 200 hits in each of his 8 seasons (Previous record for consecutive 200 hit seasons was 3). He is the youngest player to every reach 3,000 hits (that stat includes his time in Japan)
- In ’07 he set an AL record when he stole 45 consecutive bases without being caught
- Career stats: .323 batting average, 2136 hits, 392 homeruns, and 1268 RBI
- AL MVP in 2004
- 7-time Silver Slugger and 8-time All-Star (Home Run Derby winner in 2007)
- Has a cannon of an arm, and is also the best bad ball hitter in the league. His strike zone goes “from his nose to his toes.” He also does not use batting gloves (He attributed this to helping his grandfather pull cows home barehanded as a young boy in the Dominican Republic)
- Has hit over .300 in every season in the majors, and has driven in 100 runs every season except ’03 and ’08. He also has never struck out for than 100 times in a season.
- Had a 44 game hit streak against the Texas Rangers, the longest player vs team streak since 1969.
This is a tough one to call. Vlad’s got some power, but Ichiro has never had less than 206 hits in a season. Vlad has a rocket arm, but Ichiro has won 8 gold gloves and has made some amazing catches, and his arm is just as strong. Ichiro has stolen almost twice as many bases as Vlad, in a much shorter time period. Plus, Ichiro was the first Japanese-born everyday player in the MLB. That is an amazing accomplishment, and that is why I am chosing Ichiro to move on to the next round.