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Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki to wear No. 27 jersey because of Mike Trout fandom

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The Cubs officially introduced outfielder Seiya Suzuki to the Chicago media on Friday, just days after signing him to a five-year contract worth $85 million. As part of his first press conference as a member of a Major League Baseball organization, he took the opportunity to address why he elected to wear the No. 27 jersey. The answer, straightforward enough, was because of his love for Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels center fielder and the near-consensus pick for best player in baseball.

That may sound like a joke, but Suzuki said as much, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian

Suzuki, though unlikely to perform to Trout’s level, has a chance to be a highly productive and valuable player for the Cubs. CBS Sports analyzed his ball-tracking data earlier this year and found that it was comparable to several top-end MLB hitters, including reigning National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Bryce Harper and all-world slugger Pete Alonso.

Here’s part of what CBS Sports concluded:

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That shouldn’t come as a surprise based on what we’ve established about Suzuki: he hits the ball hard; he makes a good amount of contact; he seldom swings at balls; and he has an optimized launch angle. If you were building the ideal hitter from scratch, you’d make a point of including all of those qualities before you sent them to the dish.

Suzuki is a well-rounded player who hit .309/.402/.541 in nine seasons with the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league. Last season, he batted .317/.433/.636 with 38 home runs and nine stolen bases (on 13 tries) in 134 games.

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In a corresponding move, the Cubs announced they’d placed right-hander Adbert Alzolay on the 60-day injured list because of shoulder tightness. He had been expected to compete for a spot in the rotation.

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