Suarez

#28

3B

Eugenio Suárez

Eugenio Alejandro Suárez

Height: 5'11"    Weight: 213 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 07/18/1991 in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela

Offseason home: Pinecrest, Florida

Nickname: Geno

MLB Debut: 06/04/2014

Acquired: In trade from the Cincinnati Reds, with Jesse Winker, for Jake Fraley, Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, and Connor Phillips (03/14/2022)

Free Agent after: 2024 season

Awards: NL All-Star (2018), NL Player of the Month (September 2019)

League leader: Strikeouts (189, 2019)

Twitter handle: @eugenio_suarez7

 Coming over in the big trade for Jesse Winker, Suárez is looking for a comeback season. A solid hitter in his early years with the Cincinnati Reds, "Geno"—it's easier to say than his full first name, pronounced "Ay-you-HAY-nee-yoh"—made the NL All-Star team in 2018, a year in which he batted .283, hit 34 homers, and drove in 104 runs. He followed that up with another great year in ’19 (.271/.358/.572, 49 HR, 103 RBI), but in January of 2020 he went under the knife to remove loose cartilage in his shoulder that was the result of an accident in his swimming pool at home in Florida. After that he was a completely different hitter, and not in a good way. In the mini-season of 2020 he managed a batting line of just .202/.312/.470, and last year he was even worse (though he did club 31 home runs). Surely he wasn't still feeling the effects of the swimming pool mishap? Likely not, but in his return it did appear that his mechanics at the plate changed. Deep dives into analytics show his swing-and-miss tendencies ballooned after 2019, and he was already a high strikeout batter. If it's merely a matter of adjusting his swing to be less of an uppercut, then it's not unreasonable to think the 30-year-old Venezuelan can return to his old productive self. On the other hand, if he continues as he has the last year and a half he'll still produce about as well as Kyle Seager did last season (.212/.285/.438, 35 HR, 101 RBI) even if he doesn't get on base that much. One ray of hope comes from the way Geno finished the ’21 campaign—after batting .169 from April through August, he seemed to remember he was good at hitting and posted a line of .370/.460/.808 from September 1st through the end of the season (87 PAs).

He isn't one to look to closely at why he had a bad season; where some might dig deep into the details to figure out what needs to change or how to adjust a stance, Suárez just goes with the flow. "This game is so hard," Suárez said, "and you don’t have the time to [dwell on failures]. So I just take the good moments, try to be happy and bring the good vibes only." That works for some people, and it clearly keeps Geno's attitude in good shape. 

One area in which Suárez has never excelled is in the field. He led National League third baseman in errors four times—2015, ’16, ’18, ’19—most of which were fielding miscues (as opposed to errant throws, of which he also had more than a few). But with the M's he has the benefit of working with every infielder's favorite coach, Perry Hill, and Hill thinks he can help Suárez get better. “Geno’s the best,” Hill said of his new student during spring training. "He’s a great team guy. I thought maybe we could tweak Geno’s footwork a little bit, and I think it has helped him.... [How much the extra work will improve his defense] remains to be seen, but the way he works at it, I think he will be just fine."

TH, 4/3/22