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2017 Mets Season Review: Nori Aoki brought consistency late in the season

The outfielder did exactly what you thought he would

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes went down with injuries and Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce were traded away, the Mets needed someone to play the outfield for the last month of the season. Enter Norichika Aoki. Aoki was signed by the Mets on September 2, and he almost immediately did what he’s always done over his career: played a league-average outfield.

Aoki was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on August 29, having been traded from the Houston Astros a month or so earlier. He hit .284/.371/.373 over the course of his 27 games for the Mets. Compare this to his career slash line of 285/.350/.387, and you’ll see just how close to his career norms he played in New York. While he did not hit for much power, collecting seven doubles and one triple with no home runs, he reached base at a decent clip and avoided the strikeout nicely.

In the field, Aoki was similarly consistent. In 23 of his games as a Met, he played right field, also filling in left field and, for one game, in center. He only committed one error and ranked at just about league average in most defensive categories.

While the Mets’ September was forgettable in just about every way, Aoki played pretty good baseball for the team. While from an offensive perspective he could not match the players he was tasked to replace, Aoki more than held his own over the last month of the season. He could be a reasonably affordable fourth or fifth outfielder for the team next season, depending on the health of Conforto and others.

Plus, he walks up to “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker, Jr. That has to be a point in his favor, no?