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  • 07/10/2010, 10:43PM ET

Pick one player to start your MLB franchise (pretend you get them as a rookie)

Serial Dex (85-39-9) vs Sabih (102-48-19)
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MUST be one of the following:

HR/RBI basher : Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard
5 Tool Player: Carl Crawford or Vlad Guerrero
Avg/OBP: Ichiro or Jeter

If you were allowed to pick 1 of these players as a rookie to start your team, knowing what you know now... who would you take?

Call me crazy (or vote for me) but if I had to choose 1 player from the above, I would go with Ichiro.

Let's look at some astonishing stats/figures from Ichiro's career:

- Active leader in batting average
- Far and away the most triples of the top 15 active hitters (have to go to #18 in avg. for who has more)
- Over 1000 runs scored
- 363 Stolen bases (again, #18 in avg. has more)

Guys at the top of the order are hard to replace. Setting the table for your team is crucial.

I also picked Ichiro for the marketing perspective. Think of the revenue he brings to the team simply because he is the best Asian player in the game. His merchandise sells like hotcakes. Games are broadcast all over Japan, simply because he is in them.

Hitting for average, playing good defense and having speed on the bases is crucial to start off your batting order.


Its Vladimir Guerrero

First of all Ichiro came into the league @ 27, therefore you have him for a shorter period. Vladi came at 21, giving you six more years of production.

As for marketability, Ichiro may be a great draw but if your team is not winning, you are not going to get the same amount of revenue and Vladi gives your team the better chance to win. Besides, how long can you use the best Asian player cash cow, there are a numbers of Asian players in the MLB now.

Lets compare stats (162 GAMES AVG)

AVG
VG .321
IS .333

Runs
VG 104
IS 108

HR
VG 36
HR 9

RBI
VG 117
IS 58

OBP
VG .385
IS .378

SLG
VG .568
IS .433

Vladi is a better power hitter. 36 HR, 100 + R and 100+ RBI per season. His batting average is 12 points worse but he gets on base more than Ichiro. Surprising since lead-off hitters main job is to get on base. Vladi hits for both power and speed and is one of best all round players

A decent base runner, a canon of an arm and 7x Silver Slugger makes Vladi the best player to build a team around.


You bring up the arm, but Ichiro is known for his arm as well. He is no slouch defensively and obviously can play the field in his "old age" when Vladdy can't. Vlad had to move to the DH quite early because of back problems (among others) but Ichiro is still fast and agile.

You also say there are plenty of Asian players. True, but none of them compare to Ichiro. Far and away the best player ever from Asia. TV news statsions cover each of his at-bats and Japan has "Ichiro Tour Packages" that revolve around him for trips to the US.

Ichiro made his pro debut in Japan in 1992, Vlad in 1996 for the Expos. In that time:

Ichiro:

Japan - 7x batting champ, 3x MVP, 7x Golden Glove, 7x All star, Single season hits record
MLB - 10x All star, 9x gold glove, 3x Silver slugger, ROY, MVP, and many more accolades

Vlad:

9x All star, MVP, 7x Silver Slugger and that's mostly it.


Ichiro has broken records and had a stellar career. Vlad has been impressive for sure, but not as impressive as Ichiro. I would rate Vlad 3rd on the list of players I gave, behind Jeter and Ichiro.


Ichiro's stats in Japan do not matter because like you stated in your title, you are building an MLB franchise and Ichiro did not join the MLB until 27. So those six extra years of service that Vladi provides are important

True Vladi has lost a little in terms of fielding and mobility with age but he can still bat. The great thing about the AL is even if your player cannot bat, you can still put him in as DH and add extra years to his career.

Playing primarily @ DH this year, Vladi has 20 HR, 75 RBI, .323 BA and 55 Runs putting him in top 10 in the AL in each of those categories. He has not missed much time either he has played 82 games while Ichiro has played 87 games.

Also if you want to talk about the money, Ichiro has made $11.1 million per year while Vladi made $7.9 million per year over his career. Therefore, Vladi also provides more bang for the buck.

The Ichiro tour packages do not give the team itself any revenues, those go to travel agents and airlines and hotel.

Seattle ranks 17th in overall attendance this year at home games so Ichiro is not bringing in the big crowds at Safeco.

July 10, 2010  10:45 PM ET

Damn you, Chosen....

July 10, 2010  10:49 PM ET

"pretend you get them as a rookie"

Why would you want Ichiro? He hasn't played long enough, and his rookie season he was already 27.

I don't know why you limit it to those players, but I would pick either Jeter or Vlad. Jeter because since we are getting them as rookies, you know that he is going to give you 15+ great seasons. Vlad because he is great, and could have been one of the greatest if he didn't play at Olympic Stadium which ruined his knees. Since I'm getting him as a rookie, I would take him just on his talent and hope he stays healthy without having to play on the hard as rock turf at the O.

July 10, 2010  10:49 PM ET
QUOTE:

I think Ichiro would be the last of those 6 I would take...

I agree.

July 10, 2010  10:56 PM ET

If you take the player as a rookie, it's Jeter...

Also, if you take Ichiro, does he start out as 27?

July 10, 2010  11:06 PM ET

Vlad.....or Chipper Jones :)

July 10, 2010  11:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

If you take the player as a rookie, it's Jeter...Also, if you take Ichiro, does he start out as 27?

Marlon Byrd> Derek Jeter.


Disclaimer: I am just kidding, there is no need for a big 'ole "Defend yourself" TD)

July 10, 2010  11:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Vlad.....or Chipper Jones :)

Errrnt. Thumbs down.

July 10, 2010  11:09 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Marlon Byrd> Derek Jeter.Disclaimer: I am just kidding, there is no need for a big 'ole "Defend yourself" TD)

Shocker

July 11, 2010  02:11 AM ET

Why no A-Roid?

July 11, 2010  11:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Why no A-Roid?

getting A-Rod as a rookie >>>>>>>>>> all the other players you listed above.

Back on topic:

Ichiro is the last person on that list i'd take.

July 11, 2010  12:58 PM ET

Ichiro may have a great batting average, but his on base percentage isn't that great.

As a lead off hitter OBP > BA

July 11, 2010  01:12 PM ET

this is a joke of a question it is obviously ichiro. Ichiro is a gold glover, and the best contact hitter in the mlb. And if u get hime as a rookie he could get around 5000 hits in his career

July 11, 2010  02:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Ichiro may have a great batting average, but his on base percentage isn't that great.As a lead off hitter OBP > BA

SI Senor.

July 11, 2010  02:26 PM ET

I agree with the Vlad pick.

Though I would take Chipper over all of them and never move him to left field.

July 11, 2010  02:29 PM ET

Did left just bring-up Ichiro's stats from Japan.

July 11, 2010  04:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Did left just bring-up Ichiro's stats from Japan.

Why not? I don't think he deserved Rookie of the Year honors because he played professional ball. Lots of writers and reporters feel the same way. It's not like the ball over there is full of little league players. Ask anyone who watched the World Baseball Classic.

July 11, 2010  04:20 PM ET

This is a tough one for me. I like the limitations. I would actually seriously consider Crawford. I find him highly underrated and think he will have a great career.

July 11, 2010  05:06 PM ET
QUOTE:

I think Ichiro would be the last of those 6 I would take...

Agreed. And hardly ever agree with Bobby....

July 11, 2010  05:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Marlon Byrd> Derek Jeter.Disclaimer: I am just kidding, there is no need for a big 'ole "Defend yourself" TD)

LOL....

 
July 11, 2010  05:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

"pretend you get them as a rookie"Why would you want Ichiro? He hasn't played long enough, and his rookie season he was already 27.I don't know why you limit it to those players, but I would pick either Jeter or Vlad. Jeter because since we are getting them as rookies, you know that he is going to give you 15+ great seasons. Vlad because he is great, and could have been one of the greatest if he didn't play at Olympic Stadium which ruined his knees. Since I'm getting him as a rookie, I would take him just on his talent and hope he stays healthy without having to play on the hard as rock turf at the O.

Easy Win attempt or he doersnt know much about MLB?

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