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Norichika Aoki on Pace for Over 200 Hits

Discussion in the Records and Milestones forum
Norichika Aoki on Pace for Over 200 Hits
23 year old Yakult Swallows outfielder Norichika Aoki is on pace to be the second Japanese player in history to hit over 200 hits in a season. The first and only person to accomplish this feat was Ichiro in 1994 with 210 hits. At his current pace, Aoki is predicted to get 208 hits. His batting average is the best in the Central League at .351 and he is 3rd in steals with 22.

Aoki replaced long time regular Atsunori Inaba, who left Yakult to join the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters via free agency. Aoki is no stranger to batting titles, as he was last year's Eastern League batting champ with a .372 average.
Comments
Re: Norichika Aoki on Pace for Over 200 Hits
[ Author: Mischa | Posted: Aug 16, 2005 6:50 AM | TYS Fan ]

- Aoki replaced long time regular Atsunori Inaba, who left Yakult to join the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters via free agency.

Not quite. Aoki is a center fielder, while Inaba is a right fielder who played some center last year. Ruyji Miyade has replaced Inaba and, like Aoki, has posted a great average. Mitsuru Manaka and Munehiro Shida were Yakult's center fielders last year (and Manaka, like Aoki, hit leadoff) and more accurately were replaced by Aoki.
Re: Norichika Aoki on Pace for Over 200 Hits
[ Author: Jingu Bleacher Bum | Posted: Aug 16, 2005 8:43 AM | YAK Fan ]

Aoki is doing awesome! I love this guy, and only hope he gets better (well not to the point where he'll leave to MLB after another 6 or 7 years).

Not only is he on a rapid fire pace for number of hits, but he also tied Ichiro's old record of number of games with 4 or more hits in one season. Currently Chunichi's Masahiro Araki holds the season record for number of games with four or more hits per game, at 9, set last year. Ichiro held the record before that, doing it 8 times, and Aoki tied that mark in the August 12th game against Yokohama.
Re: Norichika Aoki on Pace for Over 200 Hits
[ Author: Guest: null | Posted: Aug 16, 2005 2:03 PM ]

- I love this guy, and only hope he gets better (well not to the point where he'll leave to MLB after another 6 or 7 years).

I wouldn't worry too much about that. I don't see Aoki adding enough power to make the switch. Don't get me wrong; .351/.393/.420 is a great year, but Ichiro displayed significantly more power at 23 - .345/.414/.513.
Re: Norichika Aoki on Pace for Over 200 Hits
[ Author: Yakulto | Posted: Aug 16, 2005 6:20 PM | TYS Fan ]

All of what everyone else said.

Although he didn't directly replace Inaba at center, he is the new face in Yakult's outfield this year and has peformed so well that I can barely remember who Inaba was - so little has he been missed.

On top of his batting, Aoki is also by far Yakult's best outfielder with the glove, covering a lot of ground quickly and often covering for Ramirez and Miyade/Manaka at times.

Although he is very Ichiro-esque with both the bat and the glove, we'll have to see how he fairs over the next few years to see if he's got a shot at the majors. The early signs are good however, and one thing's for sure, he's going to have a great future with the Swallows.
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