I am back with another installation of guys who are going later then their value dictates. I hit you all with some of my love for Michael Saunders earlier in the week, now its on to Norichika Aoki. He is basically Denard Span of the NL Central, but with out the hype and 4 rounds later in draft position. So if you want some late round love for your OF then look no further than Nori.
I love guys that are scheduled to lead off. I also like guys who are scheduled to lead off and have great run producers behind them. All pluses that add to the all important counting stats. Because he isn't going to drive himself in 40 times so he needs the helping hand of the nicely stacked up Brewers first 6 in the line-up. A line-up that managed to score the 3rd most runs in 2012. Yeah that's exactly what I just said the third most, behind the Yankees amd the Rangers that's it. I tell you as I write this Aoki is looking juicier and juicer. Like an endless spicy tuna roll or a nice platter of sashimi. So dou yourself a favor and keep reading as to why I think he exceeds his 2012 numbers and is a top 150 player before you know it.
His stats from last year were semi-stunted because he was basically a non-factor for the first 30 games of the season. By his own fault I would say as he was beaten out in spring training and was a spot duty guy in April and early May. He only managed 54 AB's thru May 15th, that's not all that many if your counting at home. His main stat that was affected by this that interests me the most are his steals. He had zero steal through almost all of May. Yet he still managed to steal 30 bags in 2012. So what this tells me is that he is basically good for between 8-10 steals a month when he gets regular playing time. Now I know there are tons of other options that are steals only guys in MLB; Rajai Davis and Coco Crisp come to mind, but for my money he is a better hitting option than those players. As he just puts the ball in play more, and hits an ungodly number of groundballs, which in his case are a great thing.
So what is driving you to Aoki as your third or fourth Of. For me it is his torrid stretch run in 2012. He basically doubled his RBI total in the final 50 games of the season while maintaining a batting average right around .300. While adding to it 17 SB's and 34 runs scored during that same time frame. Now I dont know about you but what more do you want from your catalyst in your lineup, and based off that I think he builds on that for the 2013 campaign. For 2013, I see him maintaining his .300 average and his his power may increase but it's not enough that we have to check his bat or his urine. His value is in the runs scored and his steals, both of which are going to increase. His run total if he maintains the lead off spot in the line-up should be around 100 with steals pushing 40 if all breaks right. So for a 15th rounder or later your going to get .300/ 35 plus steals and 160 runs scored/driven in, I am sorry where is the line to get him because where ever it is I am cutting it.