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Nick Nelson
12-09-2012, 10:52 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1242-Hicks-Positioned-to-Take-the-Leap

Otwins
12-09-2012, 11:05 PM
Here is what you willl hear about Hicks when he is sent down- He needs triple A AB's - we have three young centerfielders and we need Hicks to play everday - He needs to work on his __________ so we sent him to triple A. He will be the centerfielder an hour after the full year of service date passes. That is usually around June 1st. No way out of spring training.

Seth Stohs
12-09-2012, 11:31 PM
I would like to see Joe Benson, who is just starting to jog now after his most-recent knee surgery, have a strong spring and win the starting CF job out of camp. If so, he may get a month or two to see what he can do. That way, Hicks can continue to show his all-around game. And yes, I fully believe in waiting to bring up a top talent prospect until you know you have him for an extra full season. That's just smart.

greengoblinrulz
12-09-2012, 11:47 PM
Here is what you willl hear about Hicks when he is sent down- He needs triple A AB's - we have three young centerfielders and we need Hicks to play everday - He needs to work on his __________ so we sent him to triple A. He will be the centerfielder an hour after the full year of service date passes. That is usually around June 1st. No way out of spring training.
Actually the 'full year of service time' is about 2 wks into a year. Then MN will have him for 2 wks short of 7yrs before he'd have FA rights instead of 6yrs.
What you may be thinking of is arbitration rights...which is about mid June.
But we all fear you are correct

jimbo92107
12-10-2012, 12:59 AM
Why should I buy a ticket if things don't change? Twins management has to realize that there's not much reason to be interested in this team if we get another year of the same old crap as the last two years. With promising new faces like Hicks, at least we get to cheer for the future.

Bring up the kids, give them a taste of the bigs. Let them see the giant new stadium and hear the enormous volume of thousands of people. Will they be intimidated? Fine, get the novelty out of the way. Screw all the clever contract moves. This team sucks, and everybody knows it. Make some big changes, or lose your fan base.

Nick Nelson
12-10-2012, 01:17 AM
I would like to see Joe Benson, who is just starting to jog now after his most-recent knee surgery, have a strong spring and win the starting CF job out of camp. If so, he may get a month or two to see what he can do. That way, Hicks can continue to show his all-around game. And yes, I fully believe in waiting to bring up a top talent prospect until you know you have him for an extra full season. That's just smart.

IMO, Joe Benson needs more than a good spring to earn a chance at starting in the majors. He looked horrible during his first MLB stint and couldn't hit anywhere last year even when healthy. There were serious question marks about his plate approach even before 2012, so I personally don't think he should even be in the conversation at this point. Maybe after a few good months in Rochester.

For me, the choices come down to Mastroianni, Hicks or outside stopgap. Choosing Mastro would require them to find another fourth OF who can play center. If the org truly believes it will be more beneficial for Hicks' development to get a few months in Triple-A before tasting the majors, so be it, but I'd hope that's the only factor in their evaluation. I don't believe the contract stuff should have much bearing.

Alex
12-10-2012, 06:32 AM
They might believe it but I don't.

Revere was clearly ML ready when he was called up. Parmelee was 24 and had to go back to AAA before getting what looks like a more permanent call-up, and we know how things went with Dozier, where they predicted his success based on AA numbers. Parmelee and Revere both showed success at AAA.

If anything the Gomez comparison should be cause for hesitation. Hicks may be ready, but he should spend at least some time in AAA to make sure.

Brandon
12-10-2012, 06:54 AM
I think Hicks needs to start the season in AAA for financial reasons regardless. I think what Seth was saying is he hopes Benson shows he can be that stop gap CF instead of going outside the organization.

Now in spring training if Hicks is so much better than everyone else playing then yes he needs to start the season as the CF but not if he is tied for the job because of the financial implications noted above.

raindog
12-10-2012, 07:02 AM
Waiting a few weeks to get an extra year of service time is absolutely a good idea. And it's not like he couldn't use some time at AAA.

As for Benson, it's been said he also played through some injuries last year, accounting for some of his struggles. Maybe Seth knows a little more about that.

EDIT: As much as I like Benson, I just came across this piece of trash:
http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/355172-twins-sitting-on-next-mike-trout?sct=hp_bf2_a7&eref=sihp

Twins Fan From Afar
12-10-2012, 07:26 AM
I would like to see Joe Benson, who is just starting to jog now after his most-recent knee surgery, have a strong spring and win the starting CF job out of camp. If so, he may get a month or two to see what he can do. That way, Hicks can continue to show his all-around game. And yes, I fully believe in waiting to bring up a top talent prospect until you know you have him for an extra full season. That's just smart.

IMO, Joe Benson needs more than a good spring to earn a chance at starting in the majors. He looked horrible during his first MLB stint and couldn't hit anywhere last year even when healthy. There were serious question marks about his plate approach even before 2012, so I personally don't think he should even be in the conversation at this point. Maybe after a few good months in Rochester.

For me, the choices come down to Mastroianni, Hicks or outside stopgap. Choosing Mastro would require them to find another fourth OF who can play center. If the org truly believes it will be more beneficial for Hicks' development to get a few months in Triple-A before tasting the majors, so be it, but I'd hope that's the only factor in their evaluation. I don't believe the contract stuff should have much bearing.

In defense of Benson, I did hear that there were other, unpublicized injuries that took their toll on him, in addition to the injuries that were known to Twins fans. I wonder if, at any point in the season, he was even close to 100% healthy? Either way, though, it was a totally lost season, and he certainly has a chip on his shoulder going into 2013.

As for the service time argument, yes I do think it matters in this situtation. I'm accepting that there is little chance that the Twins are going to compete for the playoffs in 2013. If you believe that Hicks is the best CF option for this team (which I do) to open the season, then, yes, if this team was playoff contender, perhaps it makes the most sense to sacrifice that extra year of team control and put the best player on the field the full season. With this Twins club, however, the focus clearly is on the future. Sacrificing a few weeks, or 2 months, or whatever it is, of Hicks in CF doesn't damage the present very much, and if we believe that Hicks is the future CF for the Twins, having an entire extra year of team control makes Hicks more valuable, not just to the Twins, but to other teams in the future, should a guy like Byron Buxton make Hicks a tradeable commodity at some point.

mike wants wins
12-10-2012, 08:59 AM
I am mot sure why worrying about future arbitration matters. By the time he is eligible, they will have almost all players making the minimum. At some point, they do need to sell tickets somehow. But I think Seth and others are correct in assuming it is about money for the Twins

TheLeviathan
12-10-2012, 09:03 AM
I don't think the Twins will send him down to AAA for arb. reasons if he blows them out of the water in ST. I think he's going to get a lot of chances to impress the coaches and if he does, I bet he's with the club at the start of the season.

roger
12-10-2012, 09:14 AM
I need to side with Seth on this one, ie, I am on record from several months ago stating that Joe Benson will have a break out season in 2013. Thus, I believe he can and will be the starting centerfielder on opening day. It is my understanding that he went in for knee surgery expecting a minor cleanout. When in his knee, the surgeons learned there was a lot of damage and did a much more serious procedure.

We don't know how long that injury had been affecting his play. Yes, he got off to a more than slow start at Rochester which weighed on his psyche. But the effect of his injuries (hamate bone and knee) certainly was a major reason his entire season was a disaster.

With that said, I believe the Twins believe he is a legimate candidate to be in center on opening day. He has the skills that in many ways are equal to Hicks. Unlike some, I don't believe his play with the Twins in September, 2011 was a disaster. I saw a tremendously skilled young man getting his first glimpse of the 'show.' I remember the game he almost hit for the cycle as a glimpse of what could come. Does he have some things he needs to work on, certainly. But when it happens, he could become a superstar!

YourHouseIsMyHouse
12-10-2012, 09:20 AM
I'm really high on Hicks as well and it's nice to see that the org thinks he's good enough to play already. He could develop into the best leadoff hitter in the game.

gunnarthor
12-10-2012, 09:37 AM
I don't know if the clock will have a huge impact on Hicks. He might not be ready, he might struggle and get sent down, but I don't think they'll worry too much about service time.

In any event, I'm excited for him. Here's hoping.

Seth Stohs
12-10-2012, 09:52 AM
I am mot sure why worrying about future arbitration matters. By the time he is eligible, they will have almost all players making the minimum. At some point, they do need to sell tickets somehow. But I think Seth and others are correct in assuming it is about money for the Twins

It has nothing to do with money, in my opinion... It has to do with this... The Twins (most likely) aren't going to compete for a playoff spot in 2013 no matter who they bring in or call up... They've got prospects now that should potentially make them competitive for awhile starting in 2014 or 2015. If Hicks starts the season with the Twins (and stays up for good), he'll be here through 2018. If they have him spend a month in Rochester to start the season and then call him up (and he stays up for good), he'll be here through the 2019 season. Has nothing to do with money. Has everything to do with keeping what may become a quality player for an extra season in his prime when the Twins should be competing.

cmathewson
12-10-2012, 09:56 AM
I think he'll get a chance right away. I think you're right about it being his job to lose. Benson or Mastro could beat him out. But I expect him to win the job out of Spring Training. He won't make the team if he doesn't win the starting job. But I expect him to win the starting job.

Here is a complete list of top position player prospects they have promoted directly from AA:

Mauer
Revere
Benson
Parmelee
Dozier

Not all of those guys stayed up. But the guys who were drafted in the first round stayed up. Also note: Hicks was the highest drafted position player since Mauer (16th overall). From the time he was drafted until the time they signed Sano, he was by far the best position player in the system. I think it's fair to say the really want him to win the job out of spring training.

Seth Stohs
12-10-2012, 09:56 AM
I don't know if the clock will have a huge impact on Hicks. He might not be ready, he might struggle and get sent down, but I don't think they'll worry too much about service time.

In any event, I'm excited for him. Here's hoping.

With the Twins, I don't think the free agency or arbitration 'clocks' will matter. IF they think he's ready, they'll have him start the season with them. There is plenty of precedence for that. Joe Mauer was on the opening day roster in 2004. Last year, Parmelee and Hendriks were Opening Day roster guys.

the only scary thing about opening up this kind of competition for spring training is that typically spring training stats mean absolutely nothing.

Shane Wahl
12-10-2012, 09:57 AM
I doubt they are going to worry about his arbitration clock.

Benson still could end up being a better play, but after last year's mess, he needs to right the ship in AAA.

Shane Wahl
12-10-2012, 09:59 AM
I don't think ST is going to matter in terms of statistical performance unless there is some wild difference between one and the other two. If Hicks looks like he can handle the role, I think it will be his job. From many Twins fans writing him off before 2012 to leading off and playing CF in 2013? I would love that on principle!

twinsnorth49
12-10-2012, 10:07 AM
If he performs up to expectations then they'll look to extend him in a couple of years anyway. If he can play now, he should play.

mike wants wins
12-10-2012, 10:10 AM
Seth, control is about money. In your scenario, they could sign him to a deal to keep him. So your clock argument is all about money.

ericchri
12-10-2012, 10:17 AM
EDIT: As much as I like Benson, I just came across this piece of trash:
Twins sitting on next Mike Trout? - MLB - Baseball - Rumors - FanNation (http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/355172-twins-sitting-on-next-mike-trout?sct=hp_bf2_a7&eref=sihp)

Heh, I saw that, too. Good for a chuckle. I actually have hopes Benson turns into a really good player again, but that comparison is just a wee bit over the top.

My personal preference with no other factors to consider would be Hicks as the starter. I think Seth has the right idea, though. Hope that Benson has regained his form in order to man the position until Hicks' service clock is in order, and then call him up. Why would anyone not want Benson to be good enough to start? More trade pieces for the Twins, especially since he's apparently the next Mike Trout.:banghead:

drivlikejehu
12-10-2012, 10:41 AM
I'd prefer to see Hicks start in AAA. The Twins are very conservative with promotions anyway, so I don't think they would start him in the Majors unless he really was ready, but... the service time issue is definitely significant, and a little extra caution wouldn't hurt either. Names like Travis Snider and Cameron Maybin come to mind, who first got called up at a young age and have been very inconsistent.

Truly elite talents like Trout and Harper are a different story, but Hicks isn't that kind of player.

OldManWinter
12-10-2012, 11:10 AM
It says 23 comments, but only one by otwin is here?????

righty8383
12-10-2012, 11:23 AM
I'm having that problem too. If you go to the forum and find the thread for this article, all the comments will be shown.

Nick Nelson
12-10-2012, 11:29 AM
The Twins (most likely) aren't going to compete for a playoff spot in 2013 no matter who they bring in or call up... They've got prospects now that should potentially make them competitive for awhile starting in 2014 or 2015.

But it's also about putting an appealing product on the field. Even if the Twins aren't going all-out to win in 2013, they need to give the fans something to come out to the ballpark for. Watching Hicks develop on the big-league stage would be fun perk and would help mitigate the losses of a couple fan favorites. Of course, this ranks behind Hicks' development in importance, so if they truly believe he'll be overwhelmed or set back by the MLB challenge, go ahead and start him in Triple-A.


If Hicks starts the season with the Twins (and stays up for good), he'll be here through 2018. If they have him spend a month in Rochester to start the season and then call him up (and he stays up for good), he'll be here through the 2019 season.

Of course, as twinsnorth notes, if Hicks pans out the Twins can (and probably will) give him a contract extension that buys out a couple years of a free agency. So I really don't think it should be a major factor. They have enough money now that potential contract situations six years down the line shouldn't affect their present decision-making.


the only scary thing about opening up this kind of competition for spring training is that typically spring training stats mean absolutely nothing.

Agreed. They need to enter ST with a plan in place that will only be altered by drastic changes during spring (injury or completely abysmal performances). I hate the idea of an open comp in Ft. Myers where the best performer in 80 AB gets the job.

OldManWinter
12-10-2012, 11:30 AM
Now all the comments

James
12-10-2012, 11:35 AM
I really don't know how I personally feel about this one. If he gets the job out of ST, great. It'll be fun to watch him. If they decide to wait a few weeks so they get an extra arb year out him, I understand that too. If the team legitimately feels he needs some AAA time, and he doesn't get called up until June... I understand that one too. There are many good arguments for taking any of those paths.

I would say that I would be most happy with him starting out of ST, or calling him up to get the extra year. This is all based on the assumption that he has a good spring and is ready for the job.

ThePuck
12-10-2012, 11:35 AM
The last three major supposed ST battles we had, the winner (by stats at least) didn't get the job.

Span losing to Gomez
Harris losing to Punto
Slowey posting the best ERA of all 6 SPs.

I have a hard time believing we actually have ST battles

Boom Boom
12-10-2012, 11:45 AM
Mastroianni is a nice bench player but I believe he'll be overexposed if pressed into full-time duty.

Benson, despite the fact that he had a cup of coffee in 2011, should be behind Hicks on the depth chart.

IMO, either the Twins should just roll out with Hicks, or find a platoon partner for Mastroianni.

mike wants wins
12-10-2012, 11:59 AM
Why would they need another outfielder if they are rebuilding?

mnfanforlife
12-10-2012, 12:23 PM
I think Ryan knows he has a bunch of guys that can be good top-of-the-order hitters in Nate Roberts, Hicks, Buxton, Kepler etc. and he got some great returns for Span and Revere. All of the OF's left in MIN's organization should be capable to fill the roles left open by Revere and Span, some sooner than others.

mnfanforlife
12-10-2012, 12:25 PM
Roberts, Hicks, Arcia, Buxton, Kepler, Bigley, Walker. Two of these guys might play in Minnesota next year. There is still a ton of OF depth in this organization.

LaBombo
12-10-2012, 12:29 PM
[QUOTE=Seth Stohs;69613]
If the org truly believes it will be more beneficial for Hicks' development to get a few months in Triple-A before tasting the majors, so be it, but I'd hope that's the only factor in their evaluation. I don't believe the contract stuff should have much bearing.

Agree with everything but this last part. Even if the Twins add a respectable starter from the dwindling pool of free agents, they're just not very likely to contend in 2013. Two months of a kid who hasn't played above AA isn't worth giving up a year of team control of a player in his prime on a potential contender.

DAM DC Twins Fans
12-10-2012, 12:31 PM
Here is what you willl hear about Hicks when he is sent down- He needs triple A AB's - we have three young centerfielders and we need Hicks to play everday - He needs to work on his __________ so we sent him to triple A. He will be the centerfielder an hour after the full year of service date passes. That is usually around June 1st. No way out of spring training.

couldnt have said it better myself.

DAM DC Twins Fans
12-10-2012, 12:32 PM
Here is what you willl hear about Hicks when he is sent down- He needs triple A AB's - we have three young centerfielders and we need Hicks to play everday - He needs to work on his __________ so we sent him to triple A. He will be the centerfielder an hour after the full year of service date passes. That is usually around June 1st. No way out of spring training.

Amen--Couldnt have said it better.

JeffB
12-10-2012, 12:41 PM
It just seems so out of character for Gardy/Ryan to hand a starting position, and leadoff spot in the lineup, to a young top prospect. Do we have a recent example? It seems like all young Twins prospects languish on the many Rochester-Minneapolis round trips before becoming a regular in the lineup.

LaBombo
12-10-2012, 12:50 PM
If he performs up to expectations then they'll look to extend him in a couple of years anyway. If he can play now, he should play.

Let's set aside the fact that Hicks had a good, but not great, year at New Britain, and is hardly a solid bet to be a plus player on Opening Day. If you bring him up you're still just trading two months of Aaron Hicks the prospect for a year of Aaron Hicks the seasoned major leaguer in his prime, and hopefully playing for a contender instead of a rebuilder.

If this were the Yankees, then yes, you could just buy that year back with an extension without another thought. But it's the Twins, and if you extend him you'll be paying a premium to do so and taking money from a finite pool. The loss of that money could very likely result in the loss of a veteran or a budget issue that prevents a free agent signing.

Nick Nelson
12-10-2012, 01:03 PM
I'm surprised how many fans have inherited this mindset that keeping a non-elite prospect in the minors for a couple months to delay his free agency is a huge deal. Are we in Tampa Bay? Gotta believe a lot of people singing that tune will feel differently if we're in May and Hicks is doing his usual high-OBP thing at Rochester while Mastroianni struggles and the Twins lack a competent leadoff option.

Even in a rebuilding year, you still try to win games. Hicks might be a little raw yet, but the way he flourished through the extremely difficult A-to-AA transition suggests to me that he's up for the challenge. If he struggles you can always send him down and preserve the arb clock.


Let's set aside the fact that Hicks had a good, but not great, year at New Britain
He had a top-5 OPS in the Eastern League as one of the younger players, and he played excellent defense in center field. I think your standard for greatness must be pretty high.


It just seems so out of character for Gardy/Ryan to hand a starting position, and leadoff spot in the lineup, to a young top prospect. Do we have a recent example?
Well, Gomez. Revere. Going back further, Hunter was called up at a young age with little seasoning in the high minors. You can call the Twins conserative with promotions, but when it comes to toolsy outfielders that has hardly been the case.

LaBombo
12-10-2012, 01:06 PM
But it's also about putting an appealing product on the field. Even if the Twins aren't going all-out to win in 2013, they need to give the fans something to come out to the ballpark for. Watching Hicks develop on the big-league stage would be fun perk and would help mitigate the losses of a couple fan favorites. Of course, this ranks behind Hicks' development in importance, so if they truly believe he'll be overwhelmed or set back by the MLB challenge, go ahead and start him in Triple-A.


While plenty of Twins Daily people might be excited to see Hicks on Opening Day, he's hardly the widely known phenom, either in terms of talent or, more importantly in this case, reputation, that Joe Mauer was when he arrived in the majors. Unless Hicks tears it up from the start, his presence may backfire with respect to drawing casual fans.

Many of them have grown increasingly cynical about the Twins not fielding a competitive team since the first year in Target Field. Some kid they don't know from the minors batting .220 on May 1 may be seen incorrectly as another sign of' penny pinching by the Pohlads. And even if Hicks hits about what you might expect, but the team struggles (shocka!), the rubes will at least partly blame the kid batting only .250, never mind the walks.

mike wants wins
12-10-2012, 01:10 PM
So don't even try to be good by putting the best players out there because they cannot win it all? They built the stadium to retain their current players. If hicks is the beat option, he should he out there.

Twins Fan From Afar
12-10-2012, 01:10 PM
If he performs up to expectations then they'll look to extend him in a couple of years anyway. If he can play now, he should play.

Let's set aside the fact that Hicks had a good, but not great, year at New Britain, and is hardly a solid bet to be a plus player on Opening Day. If you bring him up you're still just trading two months of Aaron Hicks the prospect for a year of Aaron Hicks the seasoned major leaguer in his prime, and hopefully playing for a contender instead of a rebuilder.

Hicks, by almost all objective standards for measuring the ability to play the game of baseball, did indeed have a great year in 2012.
.286/.384/.460; 21 2B; 11 3B; 13 HR; 61 RBIs (he served as leadoff hitter the last half of the season); 79 BB; 116 K; 32 SB; 11 CS. He accumulated 472 at-bats and scored an even 100 runs.

How about his stats when compared to the Eastern League: His .286 average is good for 15th in the league. The 11 triples are tied for first in the league, and the 100 runs are solidly in first place in the entire league. Hicks tied for first in walks, was third in stolen bases, and eighth in on-base percentage.

His defense was already major league ready going into 2012.

I wrote a little more about his 2012 season here (http://twinsfanfromafar.blogspot.com/2012/09/twins-fan-from-afars-2012-rock-cats-mvp.html), if anyone cares to read. In any event, I'd call it a great year. Very, very solid numbers across the board.

Alex
12-10-2012, 01:12 PM
I think he'll get a chance right away. I think you're right about it being his job to lose. Benson or Mastro could beat him out. But I expect him to win the job out of Spring Training. He won't make the team if he doesn't win the starting job. But I expect him to win the starting job.

Here is a complete list of top position player prospects they have promoted directly from AA:

Mauer
Revere
Benson
Parmelee
Dozier

Not all of those guys stayed up. But the guys who were drafted in the first round stayed up. Also note: Hicks was the highest drafted position player since Mauer (16th overall). From the time he was drafted until the time they signed Sano, he was by far the best position player in the system. I think it's fair to say the really want him to win the job out of spring training.

Of those on the list, I think the only one who was promoted from AA and "stuck" and that's Mauer.

Revere spent plenty of time in AAA before becoming a "permanent" MLB player, and I assume he'll . Parmelee was sent back down to crush AAA before being called back up this season and while he should be able to stick around that remains to be proven. Benson got his first taste of the majors from AA but was that was just for roster expansion and he's struggled in the minors ever since. Dozier actually started in AAA before he proved what many of us said, that he wasn't ML worthy yet.

So, of that list, only Mauer, one of the top 3-4 hitters this organization has ever seen, stuck from AA. I'm not sure Hicks is in the same category and I hope we don't see what happened to Dozier, a shattering of confidence happen to him.

Dave T
12-10-2012, 01:17 PM
I am just fine with letting Hicks get some experience in AAA before being called up. Let Mastroianni and Benson fight it out for a couple months.

Riverbrian
12-10-2012, 01:17 PM
I will place my faith in Gardy and TR. If Hicks opens the season... I'd understand... If he is delayed for the Arb Clock... I'd understand.

Benson... Has to turn it around a little in the minors first. In my opinion. A opinion based on very little eyeballing.

ThePuck
12-10-2012, 01:19 PM
I will place my faith in Gardy and TR.
Hmmm. Okay

LaBombo
12-10-2012, 01:20 PM
He had a top-5 OPS in the Eastern League as one of the younger players, and he played excellent defense in center field. I think your standard for greatness must be pretty high.

Shouldn't standards be REALLY high when bringing up an AA player solely to fill a need? He struck out in a fifth of his at bats, and he'll see a big drop in average if he can't sustain that .350-ish BABIP. Yes, he was very good, but let's face it: nobody would be crying foul if he started the year in AAA had the Twins hung on to Span and/or Revere until the 2013 trade deadline.

twinsnorth49
12-10-2012, 01:22 PM
If he performs up to expectations then they'll look to extend him in a couple of years anyway. If he can play now, he should play.

Let's set aside the fact that Hicks had a good, but not great, year at New Britain, and is hardly a solid bet to be a plus player on Opening Day. If you bring him up you're still just trading two months of Aaron Hicks the prospect for a year of Aaron Hicks the seasoned major leaguer in his prime, and hopefully playing for a contender instead of a rebuilder.

If this were the Yankees, then yes, you could just buy that year back with an extension without another thought. But it's the Twins, and if you extend him you'll be paying a premium to do so and taking money from a finite pool. The loss of that money could very likely result in the loss of a veteran or a budget issue that prevents a free agent signing.

I am setting aside the facts that it may be too early, talent wise. I'm just saying the decision about whether he is or isn't, shouldn't be about money.

Paying at a "premium" is pretty speculative, if Hicks lives up to the hype then the team should decide on the premium themselves by offering an early extension, instead of arbitration setting the price, either way they are going to pay. I just don't believe a move like that is going to cost the team in the future the same way you seem to think it will.

The whole issue is hardly that big a deal though, would I like to see him play? Yes, would it cause a bunch of contrived angst if I had to wait for two months? No.

Riverbrian
12-10-2012, 01:25 PM
I will place my faith in Gardy and TR.
Hmmm. Okay

Its not that hard to do... I'm able to read stats and scouting reports. The majority of scouting reports that I read come from sources outside the organization.

It's really easy for me to place faith in Twins talent evaluators who work and watch the players everyday. They have much much more information than anything I can cobble together.

Have they made mistakes... Yes... A bunch of them... So has every other organization. I'm just not comfortable making definitive statements with the amount of knowledge that I have and if I can't place faith in our staff... Where can I turn?

twinsnorth49
12-10-2012, 01:27 PM
I will place my faith in Gardy and TR.
Hmmm. Okay

As opposed to who? Sorry rhetorical question.

Yoshii
12-10-2012, 01:42 PM
+ 1

ThePuck
12-10-2012, 01:43 PM
if I can't place faith in our staff... Where can I turn?

The bottle? :-)

Yoshii
12-10-2012, 01:43 PM
Here is what you willl hear about Hicks when he is sent down- He needs triple A AB's - we have three young centerfielders and we need Hicks to play everday - He needs to work on his __________ so we sent him to triple A. He will be the centerfielder an hour after the full year of service date passes. That is usually around June 1st. No way out of spring training.

+ 1

Riverbrian
12-10-2012, 01:54 PM
if I can't place faith in our staff... Where can I turn?

The bottle? :-)

I did that... I'm a happy drunk... It only raised my sunny disposition.

ThePuck
12-10-2012, 02:04 PM
if I can't place faith in our staff... Where can I turn?

The bottle? :-)

I did that... I'm a happy drunk... It only raised my sunny disposition.

If you look at it, Benson or Hicks will have to be with the team. We only have one guy on the 25 man that can play CF

righty8383
12-10-2012, 02:16 PM
If you look at it, Benson or Hicks will have to be with the team. We only have one guy on the 25 man that can play CF

Wouldn't it be fun to have Willingham in left, Parm in center, and Doumit in right?:th_alc:

ThePuck
12-10-2012, 02:22 PM
If you look at it, Benson or Hicks will have to be with the team. We only have one guy on the 25 man that can play CF

Wouldn't it be fun to have Willingham in left, Parm in center, and Doumit in right?:th_alc:

That would be interesting :-)

shs_59
12-10-2012, 02:34 PM
I'm not saying Hicks shouldn't be the front-runner for the CF job in and after ST.

I'm saying it would be a catostrophic mistake (potentially) to hand Hicks the CF job out of ST.

Send Him down to AAA let him Earn his way up, and even if he doesn't (playing poorly) call him up in August or September for good.
Eric Hosmer is a decent and one of the latest of MANY examples. ............ in the season which the Royals debuted Hosmer he was actually in AAA out of ST for 1 little month in April where he DESTROYED AAA pitching, they called him up tooo early (I thought) around May 1st. He then went on to MURDER Major League pitching (for the most part) but in the parts of 2 years since he has MASSIVELY struggled and they might of ruined him because of the mistake.

Hicks to Rochester Pleasse Terry Ryan and Co !!!!!!!!!

shs_59
12-10-2012, 02:36 PM
I guarantee you another thing Nick.

If Hicks is playing in Minnesota in April of 2013 instead of April 2014.

I predict he'll hitt about .220/310/380

That is not acceptable. And I wouldn't be shocked if he did a little worse. He's Not Ready Now. I firmly believe it.

twinsnorth49
12-10-2012, 02:42 PM
I'm not saying Hicks shouldn't be the front-runner for the CF job in and after ST.

I'm saying it would be a catostrophic mistake (potentially) to hand Hicks the CF job out of ST.

I'm confused, he should be the front runner but he shouldn't be?

Catastrophic? Really?

Big City
12-10-2012, 03:11 PM
I might be more bullish on Mastroianni than most but I was actually looking forward to seeing Darin play everyday. Worst case scenario he regresses and Hicks gets the call after June 1, thus saving a year of team control. Best case scenario, the emergence of Mastroianni makes Willingham and Doumit that much more expendable and also enhances his own trade value.

I just don't see the rush in promoting Hicks. We've got a superb core of 2014 players that could all hit the majors at exactly the same time. In the mean time, sign Drew, Marcum, and Brett Myers and we should be set.

mike wants wins
12-10-2012, 03:56 PM
If they all come up in 2014, they are all rookies together, with little experience. I do not see the point in not having your best players in the majors. How did keeping trout in the minors work out for LA last year? Try to win, see if you get lucky.

Alex
12-10-2012, 04:03 PM
If they all come up in 2014, they are all rookies together, with little experience. I do not see the point in not having your best players in the majors. How did keeping trout in the minors work out for LA last year? Try to win, see if you get lucky.

I'm not convinced Hicks is the "best" player or major league ready. Last year's injuries forced the Twins to put their "best" starters on the mound. How did that work?

Kwak
12-10-2012, 04:05 PM
Hmm, so many points to consider. Arbitration eligibility--penny wise and pound foolish--and sends a message to all draftees that if they sign with MN they will get screwed irrespective of how well they perform. Somebody will remember that when the Twins draft oh so early for the next several years--and refuse to sign!
Only one CF. Yes that would be a problem. Though I'm confident that concern was addressed when both Span and Revere were shopped.
Benson? Back in '07 the Twins refused to give Span a september callup because they deemed his AAA season (~.264 BAVG) wasn't worthy of a callup and further was deemed he "just wasn't plain good enough for the MLs", hence the insistence on a CF in the Santana trade. Then the sham "competition" for the CF job in ST '08. To sum up, given Span's '07 season and what happened it is incredible to me that the Twins can overlook Benson's wretched ML experience in '11 and his entire '12 season and place him on the Active Roster out of ST '13.
I see two scenarios: a)Hicks becomes the starting CF out of ST and Mastroianni is the 4th OF or b)Mastroiannis is the starting CF, Hicks gets sent to Rochester, and a "Jason Repko"-type player (maybe even him!) is signed to be the 4th OF. I think a) is better unless the Twins are convinced Masroianni will succeed to the same level as Revere--so they can trade Mastroianni in W '13 and receive a return similar to the Revere trade! Then its Hicks' job.

Boom Boom
12-10-2012, 04:13 PM
If they all come up in 2014, they are all rookies together, with little experience. I do not see the point in not having your best players in the majors. How did keeping trout in the minors work out for LA last year? Try to win, see if you get lucky.

I'm not convinced Hicks is the "best" player or major league ready. Last year's injuries forced the Twins to put their "best" starters on the mound. How did that work?

Their "best" starters were the ones that were hurt all season (Pavano and Baker), and the ones that they were counting on that were just plain terrible (Blackburn, Liriano, Marquis).

Other than Hendriks, none of the other pitchers the Twins rolled out there were considered to be prospects. "Best" starters is relative considering the dearth of starting pitching depth. If the Twins dipped down to AA or even High-A last year for starters the results couldn't have been much worse.

Nick Nelson
12-10-2012, 04:33 PM
I guarantee you another thing Nick.

If Hicks is playing in Minnesota in April of 2013 instead of April 2014.

I predict he'll hitt about .220/310/380

That is not acceptable. And I wouldn't be shocked if he did a little worse. He's Not Ready Now. I firmly believe it.

Based on what? You're being awfully specific and authoritative about what is clearly a complete guess.


While plenty of Twins Daily people might be excited to see Hicks on Opening Day, he's hardly the widely known phenom, either in terms of talent or, more importantly in this case, reputation, that Joe Mauer was when he arrived in the majors. Unless Hicks tears it up from the start, his presence may backfire with respect to drawing casual fans.

If the Twins play Hicks up in the media as a spectacular athlete and one of their best prospects, who was basically the reason they felt comfortable trading both Span and Revere (which is all true), I don't think they'd have a hard time building excitement around him. No casual fans knew who Gomez was when the team acquired him and he became extremely popular in '08 despite posting lousy numbers. People like coming out to the park and watching young, athletic players with legitimate promise.


I'm not convinced Hicks is the "best" player or major league ready. Last year's injuries forced the Twins to put their "best" starters on the mound. How did that work?

This comparison is just... wow. You realize that Hicks was rated as a top 20 prospect in baseball a couple years ago, right?

ThePuck
12-10-2012, 04:38 PM
How did keeping trout in the minors work out for LA last year? Try to win, see if you get lucky.

Very likely cost them a playoff spot...

Can't imagine us being in the same spot...but yeah, it cost them

Alex
12-10-2012, 04:39 PM
If they all come up in 2014, they are all rookies together, with little experience. I do not see the point in not having your best players in the majors. How did keeping trout in the minors work out for LA last year? Try to win, see if you get lucky.

I'm not convinced Hicks is the "best" player or major league ready. Last year's injuries forced the Twins to put their "best" starters on the mound. How did that work?

Their "best" starters were the ones that were hurt all season (Pavano and Baker), and the ones that they were counting on that were just plain terrible (Blackburn, Liriano, Marquis).

Other than Hendriks, none of the other pitchers the Twins rolled out there were considered to be prospects. "Best" starters is relative considering the dearth of starting pitching depth. If the Twins dipped down to AA or even High-A last year for starters the results couldn't have been much worse.

I actually think they could have. That's the point. "Best" is relative (even to injuries). They dipped down to AA for a SS, who had a similar season in AA to Hicks, that didn't work out either. As I pointed out in a previous post, the Twins have actually had very little success evaluating players in AA as major league ready in recent years and there's really no good reason to call Hicks up at this point.

mike wants wins
12-10-2012, 04:49 PM
I do not know if he is the best. My point is that if he is, he should be up.

Alex
12-10-2012, 04:50 PM
This comparison is just... wow. You realize that Hicks was rated as a top 20 prospect in baseball a couple years ago, right?


Fair enough., and I agree it was extreme, but I was referring the idea of what "best player in the organization" means especially in reference to major league ready (IE just because he might be the best CF prospect they have doesn't mean he's MLB ready). Prospect ranking is nice, but I'd like to see more evidence, personally.

I'd just like to be convinced that he's ready by more than one season in AA. It's way too much like the Dozier argument (and no he wasn't a top prospect either) to me, but calling guys up from AA hasn't worked well for the Twins. Edit: A lot of people said the same thing about Benson after he played well in AA.

Twins Twerp
12-10-2012, 04:50 PM
Waiting a few weeks to get an extra year of service time is absolutely a good idea. And it's not like he couldn't use some time at AAA.

As for Benson, it's been said he also played through some injuries last year, accounting for some of his struggles. Maybe Seth knows a little more about that.

EDIT: As much as I like Benson, I just came across this piece of trash:http:/www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/355172-twins-sitting-on-next-mike-trout?sct=hp_bf2_a7&eref=sihp

O my. The only thing that Trout and Benson have in common is that they are white and outfielders...that is where the comparisons stop. Mike trout should sue for libel from this story. Dumb.

andrewberg
12-10-2012, 05:11 PM
There are legitimate concerns about Hicks. He has advanced reasonably well through the minors but has been slow to acclimate at each step. While it is encouraging that he is growing and making adaptations, that is not the profile of a player I would want to aggressively push through the system.

OldManWinter
12-10-2012, 05:55 PM
Maybe someone can explain why there are 72 comments but suddenly I can read only one? I had the issue earlier today but later it appeared to be fixed.

twinsnorth49
12-10-2012, 06:17 PM
Maybe someone can explain why there are 72 comments but suddenly I can read only one? I had the issue earlier today but later it appeared to be fixed.

There is a thread about this is the Questions section, although nothing was able to be resolved. I have been running into the problem a fair amount but it's very intermittent. Sometimes I have to reload the page a half dozen times before it works, then it just goes away.

Nick Nelson
12-10-2012, 06:36 PM
I'd just like to be convinced that he's ready by more than one season in AA. It's way too much like the Dozier argument (and no he wasn't a top prospect either) to me, but calling guys up from AA hasn't worked well for the Twins. Edit: A lot of people said the same thing about Benson after he played well in AA.

Every player is a different case. Benson had major strike zone control issues that made him a more questionable bet than Hicks to acclimate quickly to the majors. Dozier is a bad example, because he was never a top prospect -- arguably not even a very good prospect.

You mention that the Twins haven't had success calling guys up directly from Double-A, but really they haven't had much success recently calling up players from anywhere. They just haven't developed a lot of good hitters lately. Guys are generally going to take a while to adjust to big-league competition regardless of which level they come from (see Plouffe, who had played 3 years in Triple-A and still struggled mightily as a rook).

But the best way to learn to hit major-league pitching is to face major-league pitching. As much as people crap on the team's decision to bring Parmelee up directly from Double-A, who's to say his immense success at Rochester wasn't related to that experience? Either you hack it in the bigs, or you figure out what you need to work on, and that -- to me -- is the purpose of Triple-A.

Seth Stohs
12-10-2012, 06:51 PM
But the best way to learn to hit major-league pitching is to face major-league pitching. As much as people crap on the team's decision to bring Parmelee up directly from Double-A, who's to say his immense success at Rochester wasn't related to that experience? Either you hack it in the bigs, or you figure out what you need to work on, and that -- to me -- is the purpose of Triple-A.

But this also goes back to your thoughts on Benson... Was calling him up from AA for a September right? Were his struggles in AAA last year related to that experience?

I just think all prospects are different and need to be handled on an individual basis. No one knows whether or not Aaron Hicks is big-league ready than the Twins brass, and because of the whole human factor, no one really knows.

If they go with Hicks, I will be really excited as I think he's got a chance to be a very solid major leaguer, maybe even play in a couple of All Star games. If they go with Mastroianni, I'll certainly understand that too. If they go with Benson, I will also be excited because it wasn't long ago (9-10 months ago), that we (many) had him ranked higher than we rank Hicks now and I for one would love to see him reach his immense potential. It's a no-lose situation really.

ashburyjohn
12-10-2012, 07:00 PM
If they go with Mastroianni, I'll certainly understand that too.

That's the one I won't understand. Not as a starter, even for two months.

greenland on the map
12-10-2012, 08:30 PM
If you look at it, Benson or Hicks will have to be with the team. We only have one guy on the 25 man that can play CF

Wouldn't it be fun to have Willingham in left, Parm in center, and Doumit in right?:th_alc:


If they put these guys out there and sign Delmon to play left center, I will definitely get some season tickets.

jorgenswest
12-10-2012, 08:48 PM
On waiting until super 2 passes...

The new CBA changed the threshold and the date will be later than June 1. Mid market teams like the Twins should not concern themselves with a player getting to arbitration a year early. If they perform to the point where they become expensive. Be thankful and pay them. The Twins can afford it.

On calling him up too early...

Yes, he will struggle. If he doesn't have the character and confidence to handle it and improve, he will never be a long term major league starter no matter how long they wait. This isn't like bringing up a kid right out of the draft. If Benson's poor performance last year was related to struggles in his brief September call up, he will never make it in the major leagues. I don't believe they were related.

Alex
12-10-2012, 09:49 PM
I'd just like to be convinced that he's ready by more than one season in AA. It's way too much like the Dozier argument (and no he wasn't a top prospect either) to me, but calling guys up from AA hasn't worked well for the Twins. Edit: A lot of people said the same thing about Benson after he played well in AA.

Every player is a different case. Benson had major strike zone control issues that made him a more questionable bet than Hicks to acclimate quickly to the majors. Dozier is a bad example, because he was never a top prospect -- arguably not even a very good prospect.

You mention that the Twins haven't had success calling guys up directly from Double-A, but really they haven't had much success recently calling up players from anywhere. They just haven't developed a lot of good hitters lately. Guys are generally going to take a while to adjust to big-league competition regardless of which level they come from (see Plouffe, who had played 3 years in Triple-A and still struggled mightily as a rook).

But the best way to learn to hit major-league pitching is to face major-league pitching. As much as people crap on the team's decision to bring Parmelee up directly from Double-A, who's to say his immense success at Rochester wasn't related to that experience? Either you hack it in the bigs, or you figure out what you need to work on, and that -- to me -- is the purpose of Triple-A.

I completely agree with what you're saying about each player is an individual, and I'm not saying he should wallow in AAA. ML at-bats would be good for him, but handing him the starting job could be setting him up for failure.

Regardless of whether or not Dozier was a top prospect (and I agree that's a big difference), he hit very well at AA and it sounded like they thought he was ready from a scouting perspective. He was older at the time, and one would have thought that would have allowed him to handle it, maturity wise.

Good point about the Twins not really having success bringing anyone up from anywhere. It's a fair point though they've had more that stuck after a stint in AAA than directly. Whether or not that works for Hicks, who knows, but it's hard for me to trust the Twins judgement about a player being ready. They haven't talked about it with regard to Hicks, but moving Revere would indicate that.

You mentioned that Hicks was more ready defensively, but I'm curious what is it that makes you so confident he's ML ready? Is it the single season in AA, his change in mechanics, the top prospect status he once had where he now gained ground again, or something else you've heard? Would you promote Arcia as well, too?

Shane Wahl
12-10-2012, 10:42 PM
One thing to remember. The Twins are not merely missing a CF. They are missing a leadoff hitter. Hicks is the only one of the three to properly be called a potential quality leadoff hitter.

Old Twins Cap
12-10-2012, 10:59 PM
You should realize that something is wrong with the display on this blog. I cannot access the comments section on the articles on the main page.

Anyway, heads up people. Your blog is not functioning properly.

Oden
12-11-2012, 10:07 AM
I have my doubts that Hicks is ready for the majors. He obviously had a nice age 22 season in a full year at AA. He may well have “turned a corner”, but where exactly did he improve over the previous season in high-A?

2011 242/354/366/720 5 HR
2012 385/382/459/841 13 HR

The difference is more power, right? Actually, he only had 5 more extra base hits in 2012 than 2011 and that was with 35 more PA. And his walk and K rates were both marginally down last year. The biggest improvement was actually with his BABIP – from .308 in 2011 to .346 in 2012. He put the ball in play more often last year. He’s never been a huge strikeout guy, but his rate of 20.6% over the last 2 years is not great.

It doesn’t mean he can’t improve the K rate or succeed in the majors in general, but odds are going to be against him if he strikes out more than that and puts the ball in play less often. I think less contact in his first season is likely at age 23, and if he puts fewer balls in play, he could be looking at a line more similar to 2011 than 2012.

So, is a line of 255/355/370/725 with stellar D in CF realistic? It would certainly be more than adequate for a league minimum salary at age 23 and it actually wouldn’t be that far behind Span’s 2012 season numbers.

I’d much rather see him try to stick in MN rather than go to triple-A. AAA is not a prospect league anymore. It’s for career minor leaguers and washed up veterans and serves as a holding place for marginal prospects that the big club hasn’t yet made their mind on. I’d rather see Hicks go back to AA to start the season if they don’t bring him along out of spring training. At any rate, I’m excited to see what Hicks can do in a big league uniform, whether it happens now or in the near future.

Nick Nelson
12-11-2012, 01:25 PM
Regardless of whether or not Dozier was a top prospect (and I agree that's a big difference), he hit very well at AA and it sounded like they thought he was ready from a scouting perspective. He was older at the time, and one would have thought that would have allowed him to handle it, maturity wise.

You neglect to mention that Dozier wasn't promoted directly from Double-A to the majors. He spent some time in Rochester at the outset of last year, and was called up pretty quickly despite underwhelming numbers. Personally, I just don't think Dozier is a major-league talent; I don't know that his struggles have anything to do with the way he was handled.


You mentioned that Hicks was more ready defensively, but I'm curious what is it that makes you so confident he's ML ready? Is it the single season in AA, his change in mechanics, the top prospect status he once had where he now gained ground again, or something else you've heard? Would you promote Arcia as well, too?

I'm going off various scouting reports and Terry Ryan himself, who said he felt any of the three (Mastro/Hicks/Benson) are ready to play in the majors defensively. Hicks has great speed and a tremendous arm, and from what I've heard his instincts are solid.

I would not promote Arcia. He's played less than 70 games in Double-A, he's still 21 and there's no clear opening for him. Makes more sense to plan his arrival around Morneau's departure. But if you get Hicks up at the start of the season, by the time Arcia joins the roster hopefully Hicks has adjusted a bit and you're not dealing with two fresh rookies learning the ropes in the outfield simultaneously.