May 21, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Nori Aoki (23) connects for a single during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
#23 Nori Aoki OF
The irony of Aoki signing with San Francisco was comical enough, as he was often the lead-off hitter for the Giants’ opponent in the 2014 Fall Classic–the Kansas City Royals. Whatever the reason, San Francisco was happy to see the Royals let him go, as the Giants ended up getting their best lead-off hitter for a very cheap 1 year/$4.7 million contract (with a club option for 2016).
Before fracturing his fibula in a victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 20th that put him on the shelf for 28 games, Aoki gave the Giants the spark they so desperately needed in the lead-off spot by slashing .317/.383/.385/.768, while adding 33 runs and 12 stolen bases in those first 67 games. In fact, Aoki finished fourth in voting among outfielders for the 2015 National League All Star team.
With the front-office having a club option, it is unknown whether Aoki will return next season.
Next: Willie Mays Award (Best Hitter)