caption id="attachment_2113265" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Ichiro kept his spot in the field, but not in the batting order. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest"]
Its long been assumed that one of the reasons Ichiro preferred to lead off, to the exclusion of any other spot in the Mariners batting order, is that batting first is the easiest way to get to 200 hits.
Its all about math and plate appearances. The leadoff hitter gets more chances to come to the plate. The more chances a good hitter gets, the more hits hes likely to have.