Photos From Aoki Press Conference
One of the newest Brewers, Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki, reported to camp at Maryvale Baseball Park today and we held a press conference to welcome him. General Manager Doug Melvin, manager Ron Roenicke and interpreter Kosuke Inaji (who was with the Brewers last year serving as Takashi Saito’s interpreter) all took part in the press conference. It was attended by a number of Milwaukee media who are down here as well as international media.
The Brewers signed Aoki to a two-year contract on January 17. The Brewers were awarded the negotiating rights to Aoki on December 19 after the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Central League accepted the highest bid.
Aoki, who turned 30 on January 5, has played his entire eight-year professional career with Yakult, batting .329 with 84 HR, 385 RBI and 164 stolen bases in 985 games. He has batted over .300 in six of his seven full seasons and was Central League batting champion in 2005 (.344), 2007 (.346) and 2010 (.358). He was 2005 Central League Rookie of the Year and is a six-time Golden Glove Award winner.
Aoki has participated in both World Baseball Classic events (2006 and 2009), batting .310 with 8 RBI in 15 games, and competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, batting .294 with 1 HR and 7 RBI in 9 games for Japan. Aoki worked out for the Brewers on January 8 here at Maryvale Baseball Park. He bats left and throws right and will wear #7 as a Brewer.
Aoki was scheduled to participate in an informal workout today at 11:30 a.m. Phoenix time. I will hopefully have pictures of that later in the day.