POTD Norichika Aoki
hm, who does this remind me of


You know it's a dark day at the Think Tank when the Mariners are connected with an NPB player and ... Dr. D throws a tantrum, holds his breath until he turns blue, and passes out.



Okey doke.  Here is a 4.5 runs per game corner outfielder (erf) who's there for defense.  Except, John Dewan has him at -12 the last time he played right field and as a completely separate issue, the WAY he botched it was anti-Safeco.  Aoki was neutral on shallow fly balls and medium fly balls, and got royally :- ) torched on everything over his head.  Just like the 2015 Mariners.

He is a mediocre player who is turning from age 33 to age 34, normally the point at which you fall off a cliff.

This is not Marcell Ozuna, not by a long stretch of beans.  You will have to tell me what the idea is here.  If it is "role player" then you could view him as an Ichiro Lite, maybe the 39-year-old version of Ichiro.  :: shrug ::



Aoki's EYE ratio is unquestioned; he's got (two) more walks than strikeouts lifetime.  He rarely does either one, getting about 50 of each per full season.  With his legs, this keeps his OBP up around .350 even in a big park.   (Well, fifty walks a year is hardly "rare" walks.  But Aoki puts the ball in play.)

Bill James just named ".360" as the beginning point of a good OBP.  Now, .350 is better than Your Favorite Mariner probably does, and it's nothing to sneeze at. but don't confuse .350 with Rickey Henderson.


Aoki does run very, very well.  Still.  And this means two things:  first, he can get you some RC/27 by going first to third.   He has averaged 80 runs per season, playing on dubious teams.  He can bat second and do an OKAY job.

Second, a very fast Right Fielder should, theoretically, be able to get you +10 runs with the glove.  So -- and this is the QUESTION -- why did it get you -12 the last time he played it?  I dunno.


Aoki's thing is contact, muy muy contact.  :: befuddled look :: Look, guys.  Are the Kansas City Royals really THAT!! smart?  They're going to revolutionize our sport?  Will it stay revolutionized after their 83 wins next year?



No, not his own comps.  Those would be Kiddo Davis, Morrie Arnovich, and Bob Seeds.

We're talking about every other RF option available to the Mariners:  Marcell Ozuna, and Nelson Cruz RF with a booming DH bat, and whoever played RF for all the other AL West teams.  Shin-Soo Choo, Kole Calhoun, Josh Reddick, George Springer.  Seems to SSI that a comp to Aging Ichiro Lite is the equivalent of hurling the white towel in from ringside.

Doesn't say much about your farm system, either, that you can't get developmental players in a 3-to-make-1, like Beane would do.  Ay caramba.

But hopefully the comments thread will steer me back on track,

Dr D




As a 4th OF, I would consider him.


I'm not interested in him as my everyday RF.  Aoki is weird.  His career vL numbers are .321-.376-.400!  Ichiro has been much better vL than vR, as he has aged.

Inside-'em-out and wear out the short LF grass.


Were he a VG glove man, I would be more interested in him as the everyday RF.  But.....I wouldn't really whine were he the guy we signed.  Too much.  He's a relative bargain.  He has that going for him.

But if we're going for an OF, a guy who can play CF would help.

Craig Gentry is available.  Plus glove.  Tough out. Etc.

Is he any better that the Booger?   


if this means I can turn on an M's game in May and not have to endure Endy Chavez or Gillespie or Almonte or Weeks or Denorfia or Ackley or ...... in our starting lineup. Way too many empty AB's in the OF the last several years.

Aoki would be wonderful in a solid, steady Stan Javier role.


Aoki's BA and OBP against LHP last season. $4MM was his largest contract in MLB. He can split RF with Cruz and he'll help Cruz to hit more HR with runners on when Cruz is DH.

Quilcene's picture

Denard Span- hard to find how his recovery is going, but I would sure look into seeing if he was progressing, and could be signed for the M's- I like his stats over anyone I have seen that could man CF and RF- give him a 3/36-40 deal.

I'm not getting the warm fuzzy feeling I want for the Holiday Season, going with an Aoki, and if they trade Trumbo perhaps a Montero playing much first base for the Mariners in 2016.



Taro's picture

Like many NPB hitters has a reverse platoon. Hes likely the starter and very logical choice for the price. 

Solves some of the Ms OBP issues and gives you an above average glove in a corner.

Hes old so he could age overnight, but suddenly the Ms actually have a starting OF.

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