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Why Norichika Aoki should start the 2015 All-Star Game

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I can't put my finger on why we should want to watch Aoki in the All-Star Game, but here's an attempt to figure it out.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Norichika Aoki is creeping up on the NL All-Star voting, trailing Giancarlo Stanton by fewer than 50,000 votes. He's getting support from the wave of Royals partisans. He's getting support from overseas. And he's getting support from Giants fans, who have been known to rig an election or two.

He's also creeping up on the NL leaderboards, hitting .336 with a .404 on-base percentage. It's time to appreciate him and support his candidacy for the National League All-Star Team.

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This is kind of difficult for me, as Stanton is one of my absolute all-time favorite players to watch. His raw power and underrated grace are compelling enough to make me want to watch the All-Star Game on his own. It would take a pretty special player to force me to argue against him.

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Aoki is that player, though. There's just something about him that I can't put my finger on.

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The decision is made easy, considering how well he's hitting. The lofty batting average is coming with a .357 batting average on balls in play -- high, but not ludicrously so. He's probably not this good, but we've known for three years that he's been plenty good enough to start as a corner outfielder, despite his relative lack of power. Getting him in the All-Star game would be a reward for his hot start, but it would also be an acknowledgement that his career has been pretty cool, so far.

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It's more than that, though. The All-Star Game isn't just about hot first halves and April/May stats. It's about the players you enjoy watching. And for whatever reason, I can't watch Aoki without a big ol' grin on my face. He's absolutely compelling.

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

There's no specific reason why, of course, so it would be hard to convince the masses of this without them watching every Aoki game. That's why we're lucky to have the support of international voting and the Royals mafia.

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Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

What is it about Aoki, though? What sort of magic does he possess? Am I making too much of this?

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps. Maybe there's a player like this on every team, and I'm just paying attention to the player on this team.

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, I don't think so. The ineffable qualities of Aoki, the incontestable watchability of a slash-and-hack singles artist are unique to this player, and we should appreciate him.

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Mike Stobe/Getty Images

He is not our treasure to keep hidden.

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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

He is our treasure to share.

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

For this hard-to-quantify reason, and because he can't stop hitting, I urge you to support Norichika Aoki for the All-Star Game.

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Giants should be represented well on the roster. But they have a chance to start the player who can entertain the masses the most, even if we don't know exactly why he's so entertaining.

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Really, he's just a guy who plays hard and enjoys making contact.

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Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

For some reason, though, I can't look away. Let's share that with the world. Thank you for your time, and remember to vote Norichika Aoki.