MILWAUKEE -- Perhaps Royals manager Ned Yost hasn't seen much of the second part of his new 1-2 duo at the top of the lineup, Omar Infante, but he's been very impressed with leadoff man Nori Aoki.
The Japanese right fielder, acquired from the Brewers in a trade for pitcher Will Smith, has meshed well with the Royals in Yost's view.
"He's had a great Spring Training, hit over .300, been on base a lot, has played great defense for us," Yost told the Japanese reporters who chart Aoki's every move. "Exactly what we wanted for the top of the order -- a guy who is a table-setter, a pesky little hitter that creates run-scoring opportunities for your team.
"You watch him all spring and he's got a real knack of starting innings off and keeping innings going. He's got good speed and there's a lot of things that he can do to help us."
Yost was asked about Aoki's consistency.
"His consistency is much more than I expected it to be," Yost said. "He's consistent every single day with his swing, with his mechanics, with his outfield play, with his routine, his work ethic."
And what does Yost expect from the first Japanese position player in Royals history?
"People always ask me what I expect out of a player and I just expect him to go out and play hard, and do the best he can do," Yost said. "It's hard to put numbers on it, but I expect him to be a big part of a winning organization."
College baseball gearing for 'Classic at The K'
MILWAUKEE -- Kauffman Stadium will go college on April 22 with a Missouri-Kansas border clash.
The University of Missouri Tigers will take on the Wichita State Shockers from Kansas at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday, April 22, in a game that will benefit the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas.
Farmland Foods will sponsor the event, "The National College Baseball Hall of Fame Classic at The K."
"We are so honored that David and Dan Glass and the Royals organization have chosen to host this game," said Hall of Fame executive vice president of development Jana Howser, daughter of late Royals Hall of Fame manager Dick Howser. "We look forward to a wonderful night of college baseball."
The teams have played 10 times with Wichita State winning six games. The Shockers won, 3-0, in the last meeting in 2004.
Tickets in the BATS Crown Club, which will include a special menu offered at a reduced price, will be available for $25 for adults and $14 for youth ages 14 and under.
Fans also may purchase tickets in the KIA Diamond Club for $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Royals Crown Club and Diamond Club seat holders will be given a special opportunity to purchase tickets in these two areas and will receive an email with information on how to purchase tickets within the next week.
General admission seating in the lower seating bowl will be available for purchase at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
Tickets are available online at www.royals.com/hofgame, in person at the Kauffman Stadium box office or by calling 1-800-6-ROYALS.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.