Many may not realize it but Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Norichika Aoki had a terrific season at the plate. I understand it is easy to let certain player’s performances go unnoticed when the team in general failed to impress. However, it is important to recognize Aoki, especially since his ability to get on base will benefit the Brewers greatly in 2014.
The 31-year-old accomplished several terrific feats this past season that need to be acknowledged. He posted the third best batting average (.296) in the National League among leadoff hitters that recorded a minimum of 150 at-bats. He also had the fourth best on-base percentage (.367) among leadoff hitters in the NL. A big reason for his terrific on-base percentage is the fact that he led the league in singles (140) and at-bats per strikeouts (14.9).
Obviously, it is a shame that Aoki’s talents were wasted on a horrible season that was filled with drama and disappointment. With that being said, the Brewers should have a lot better team next year when Ryan Braun returns and the numerous rookies who made their MLB debut in 2013 get a chance to contribute for an entire year.
It is important for Aoki to have a similar performance next season to give Milwaukee a huge advantage in the leadoff spot. Hopefully, the Brewers will utilize his talents instead of wasting another season away by playing terrible baseball. The fact is Aoki may not be on the team after the 2014 season, which means it is critical that the team benefit from a great leadoff hitter while they still can.