They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. This might actually apply here for my column name change. Last year, Sky put up a stellar Creeper of the Week every week, something I am still striving to live up to. But now I have my new feathered haircut, my acid washed Levi’s, seat covers for my El Camino… all these things have given me a different look, but underneath, I was still the same. The haircut scored me no brownie points with the ladies, the jeans made it look like I was wearing girls pants, and the seat covers were to cover up a cheap whiskey and firecracker incident… don’t ask. This isn’t like when they introduced New Coke, which I loved because I was a Pepsi drinker (the formula is the same, it just has my name inserted in a nothing kind of way). So in case this made no sense, I am still writing the Creeper of the Week, it’s just under a new title.
I was really hot on Norichika Aoki coming into the 2014 season. I drafted him all over the place, as I, like many, was expecting the Kansas City Royals offense to continue ascending up the ladder of feared offensive teams. So far this year, they have been a little bit of a bust. Their team batting average sits at .250, which isn’t bad, but after that, it becomes a joke. They are last in HR’s with 5, 4th worst in runs at 52, dead last in total bases at 171, 4th worst in RBI’s at 50, and ranked 23rd overall in OBP. To put a little perspective out there with how bad it’s been, five players have more home runs than the Royals and seven players have the same number of home runs. Now before I go too far off the deep end, they weren’t a big home run hitting team last year and don’t play in a home run hitters park (22nd ranked in 2013 and 16th in 2012). On the other side of it, the ballpark was near the top in runs, hits, doubles, and triples in 2013. But what does that have to do with Aoki this week? Hey! Get out of my post random italicized voice, get back over to Grey’s place, I don’t want him thinking you’re cheating on him. Sorry Grey, won’t happen again. The takeaway here is the Royals don’t play at home this coming week *pops the champagne*.
Enough about the Royals and their woe’s, I need to focus on Jack’s Hit of the Week. Norichika Aoki was a real solid contributor with the brew crew the last two years, with averages of 80 runs, 25 stolen bases, .287 batting average, and a .355 OBP. The move to Kansas City and the lead-off position should have only made those runs grow. Consider this for a minute: Alex Gordon, while batting lead-off and getting a minimum of 700 AB’s the last two years, averaged 91.5 runs, 10.5 SB, .280 batting average, and a .348 OBP. Hunh, this is starting to sound like a post about why you should own him, and I guess it kinda is because you should. He has been pretty blah to start the season, and his teammates are not doing their job of knocking him in. Since he was benched the other day, he has come out on fire and is looking like life has been injected back into his game. In the three games since, he has 5 hits, 4 runs, and 2 stolen bases.
He opens this week facing the Indians and their rotation of early season hot garbage that has been passing out runs like candy out of a pinata. Oh, and they are all right-handers too… bonus points for the lefty hitter. When it comes to his speed, I decided to look at the Mike and Rudy SB vs. SP Tool, which I hear still needs an official name. Please post suggestions in the comments and I will pass them on. I’ll call it the SAGNOFicator-Bot for now. Three of the four starters he faces have ‘blah numbers’ in allowing bags, so I could see him picking up a couple in the series. After that four game set he moves on to Baltimore to face two more righties in his three games, and gets put in a park that might help unleash the dormant power of the hitters behind him and we can start seeing some of those 90 runs I’m counting on this year. He’s the 59th rated player for the coming week on the Hitter Tron, and I feel he’s ready to be put back into starting lineups where he belongs. If he was dropped by some hasty owner, you better grab him and if he has been your starter then you can set it and forget it because it’s showtime!