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mnfanforlife
03-07-2013, 06:13 PM
After Hicks' 4-5 day with 3 bombs and 6 RBI...its hard not to get excited about his immense potential to become a MLB star. I understand this is "just Spring Training," but you don't just lace up the cleats and have that kind of day without serious talent. (no matter what type of pitching you're facing)

Would anyone like to comment on the comparison between Aaron Hicks and Torii Hunter?
This has been described to be "way off base" for some, but I see it as a reasonable comparison. Your thoughts?

notoriousgod71
03-07-2013, 06:24 PM
After Hicks' 4-5 day with 3 bombs and 6 RBI...its hard not to get excited about his immense potential to become a MLB star. I understand this is "just Spring Training," but you don't just lace up the cleats and have that kind of day without serious talent. (no matter what type of pitching you're facing)

Would anyone like to comment on the comparison between Aaron Hicks and Torii Hunter?
This has been described to be "way off base" for some, but I see it as a reasonable comparison. Your thoughts?

I'd say he's more comparable to Babe Ruth at this point.

Kwak
03-07-2013, 06:33 PM
Hicks is definately opening some eyes! He probably won't be hitting lots more HRs this Spring--but he will see a lot more breaking balls in the dirt, or way off of the plate. Rickey Henderson used his power to truly fatten his OBP with BBs--pitchers just didn't want to "lay it over the middle" (PtoC) for awhile after he hit a dinger. Patience and a keen eye (as well as all that speed, and base larceny) made him the Runs Scored leader. No, I don't think that Hicks will score 2,000+ runs, but I do see him as a mainstay in the OF--in April!

Mchans24
03-07-2013, 06:39 PM
He did whaaaaattttt? I don't care if he is facing High school pitching.....3 bombs in a game is amazing! Considering Joe Benson had a golden sombrero I'm guessing he is out of the CF contest?

Thrylos
03-07-2013, 06:46 PM
Nobody knows what Hicks will become, so I am trying to compare them as prospects:

Like Hunter, Hicks was also a first round pick by the Twins (14th overall vs 20th overall) from High School and, like Hunter was has been a 5-tool prospect. Hunter cracked the BA top prospect list once (#79 overall in 97,) Hicks did it 4 times with #19 being the highest. Hicks has more speed than Hunter and about similar power (if you exclude Hunter's numbers in SLC in the PCL league, after he was send down by TK, which were unbelievable.) Hunter made it to the bigs at age 23 (for good, had a cup of coffee before) and Hicks might make it too. Unlike Hunter, Hicks is a switch hitter (and he finally is flourishing at switch hitting after all the grief he got). Hicks draws walks at about twice the pace that Hunter did. Finally, Hicks has much better numbers, even if you include Hunter's crazy SLC numbers: .271/.379/.421 vs .270/.334/.417. And Hicks is actually a really nice and quiet guy in real life. Hunter, oh well...

So, yeah... Hunter is definitely a potential, but Hicks is a better prospect than Hunter was and his ceiling is higher than Hunter. We shall see what happens.

John Bonnes
03-07-2013, 06:47 PM
Off the top of my head, they don't seem real comparable. Hunter wasn't a switch-hitter & was a football guy. Hicks is MUCH less of a free-swinger and a golf guy.

What in their minor league careers seems similar ?

Thrylos
03-07-2013, 06:48 PM
He did whaaaaattttt? I don't care if he is facing High school pitching.....3 bombs in a game is amazing!

one of them off Cliff Lee, the other off a AAA prospect (pretty decent actually) and the other off a guy who is an old minor leaguer. The awesome thing is that he hit them from both sides of the plate... And that had been a major criticism about him

minn55441
03-07-2013, 06:57 PM
So what do you think is the competition over?

the season starts 3 weeks from Monday. Does Masty have enough time to get healthy and still play his way into a starting job?

edavis0308
03-07-2013, 07:00 PM
Remember that one year Craig Monroe lit it up in ST?

Seth Stohs
03-07-2013, 07:01 PM
If people have seen the video, all three were hit right handed. The first and the third were hit to the opposite field, and were definitely wind-aided. Normal conditions, they're fly bals to right field. The one to left field, was a shot!

Thrylos compared the two as prospects very well. Hicks is the better of the two prospects. Neither hit for average, but Hicks walks much more. Hicks can switch hit. Speed, in my opinion, was the same and both have very strong arms. Power pretty similar. It's actually a pretty good comparison. We'l see how it turns out.

josecordoba
03-07-2013, 07:03 PM
Hicks reminds me more of Mike Cameron. Cameron has much more patience at the plate then Hunter.

twinsnorth49
03-07-2013, 07:06 PM
He's could be the next Luke Hughes at this rate.

108 Double Stitches
03-07-2013, 07:30 PM
The awesome thing is that he hit them from both sides of the plate...

Hate to quibble, but they were all from the right side. His broken bat 2 run single came from the left side.

He did pull one HR and go the opposite way with the other two bombs. So he did spray the ball different bleacher
sections.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
03-07-2013, 07:51 PM
Denard Span's take on who should start for the Twins.
Denard Span ‏@thisisdspan (https://twitter.com/thisisdspan)
Unreal game by @AaronHicks31 (https://twitter.com/AaronHicks31) today! Do the right thing @twins (https://twitter.com/Twins).#lethimplay (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23lethimplay&src=hash)

Top Gun
03-07-2013, 08:57 PM
So spring training doesn't mean anything?

jimbo92107
03-07-2013, 09:08 PM
I don't expect Hicks to have another day like this in spring training, but this would appear to make it harder to send him down to AAA. However, I did see Hicks completely blow a couple fielding plays. He missed a cutoff man, and he overran a one-hop fly ball.

All in all a pretty good day for Aaron Hicks.

Kobs
03-07-2013, 09:30 PM
Off the top of my head, they don't seem real comparable. Hunter wasn't a switch-hitter & was a football guy. Hicks is MUCH less of a free-swinger and a golf guy.

What in their minor league careers seems similar ?

Both have a very urban playing style.

LaBombo
03-07-2013, 09:32 PM
It's always nice to see a prospect look sharp in spring training, especially one
who everyone hopes to see with the big club sometime this season.

That being said, Hicks' homers say much more about what a ridiculously ineffective gauge
of a player's ability spring training is than they say about Hicks. It's great for his confidence,
but I'm just looking for him to make contact and get on base. If he adds power to the tool box,
bonus.

Regarding future potential, Hicks will go as far as his left-handed swing will take him.
Everything else is there, from all accounts. And I'll throw Carlos Beltran into the mix
for comps. Toolsie switch hitter, much more effective batting right-handed. They're grain
of salt at best, but here are the Cube's grades for their offense:

Beltran: Speed 77 Contact 54 Patience 71 Batting Average 62 Power 70
Hicks : Speed 78 Contact 47 Patience 94 Batting Average 60 Power 68

Beltran is a perennial All Star, so of course he represents the best case outlier for Hicks.
How about 'Poor man's Carlos Beltran' as a realistic goal, with Hicks partially compensating
for lower average and much less power (the cube vastly under-rates Beltran) with more walks
and maybe a bit better defense.

I'd be very happy with that, and I'll bet the Twins would be too.

LaBombo
03-07-2013, 09:34 PM
So spring training doesn't mean anything?

No. Just next to nothing. It's great that Hicks is off to a fast start, but it has
little to do with predicting his path going forward compared to his minor league
record and accumulated scouting.

J-Dog Dungan
03-07-2013, 11:05 PM
After seeing both Mastro and Hicks so far, I think the best thing for the Twins to do would be to have Hicks start in CF and keep Mastro on as the 4th outfielder. It would give the Twins a good defensive replacement in the late innings to Willingham/Parmelee.

Brock Beauchamp
03-08-2013, 09:49 AM
Both have a very urban playing style.

Holy crap, my Snark-O-Meter just pegged at 11.

mike wants wins
03-08-2013, 10:06 AM
Big fan of Hicks. I was having doubts early last year, but am totally back on the bandwagon at this point. I look forward to seeing him for the next few years. If he turns out to be as good as Hunter, we should all be happy.

USAFChief
03-08-2013, 10:09 AM
Holy crap, my Snark-O-Meter just pegged at 11. Yup.

Brock Beauchamp
03-08-2013, 10:16 AM
Big fan of Hicks. I was having doubts early last year, but am totally back on the bandwagon at this point. I look forward to seeing him for the next few years. If he turns out to be as good as Hunter, we should all be happy.

We'd all be happy with that, I think.

On the other hand, there are reasons to think he might be better than Hunter.

It's a bad comparison all-around. Hicks is a switch-hitter, Hunter is not. Hicks has patience, Hunter did not. Hicks had several very good years in the lower minors, Hunter did not. Hicks hasn't hit for average since rookie ball, Hunter came to prominence by hitting .337 and then .368 in AAA. Hicks strikes out .9 times a game, Hunter struck out around .7 times per game.

Other than position and skin color, there's really nothing all that comparable about the two players.

mike wants wins
03-08-2013, 10:19 AM
Agreed, Brock...but I do think they have range and good arms in common, Hicks has more arm, I can't say about range for sure.

As hitters, they strike me as having almost nothing in common in terms of approach. I agree, he could be better than Hunter, I was just stating that if he's just as good as Hunter, I'd be thrilled.

Brock Beauchamp
03-08-2013, 10:22 AM
Agreed, Brock...but I do think they have range and good arms in common, Hicks has more arm, I can't say about range for sure.

As hitters, they strike me as having almost nothing in common in terms of approach. I agree, he could be better than Hunter, I was just stating that if he's just as good as Hunter, I'd be thrilled.

Defensively, I suppose they're comparable. *shrugs*

My statement wasn't geared so much at you as the original poster. The comparison is a bad one because offensively, they're not even close to the same player.

But I think all of us would be happy if Hicks performed on the level of Hunter... But if he does, he'll do it in a completely different way. It still means the comparison is a bad one.

mike wants wins
03-08-2013, 10:23 AM
Agreed on that, and I knew you were not talking to me specifically.....man, this call at work is boring.....

John Bonnes
03-08-2013, 01:32 PM
I just compared their minor league careers. For those that are interested:

Differences
Hunter moved up the ladder quicker, though he stalled out in AA for parts of three years. Hicks repeated Low A.
Hunter never showed Hicks speed and stolen base numbers.
Hicks is far more patient than Hunter ever was, both in a good way and a bad way. At comparable ages, each year Hicks had roughly 50-100% higher strikeout numbers and 100-200% higher walk numbers.
Hunter was never a highly acclaimed national prospect. He only appeared on the BA Top 100 list once, at #79.

Similarities
Both were very fast CFers, showing a little mix of power and speed, but....
Neither showed much power. Hunter topped out at 10 HR in a year prior to his promotion.
About the same overall batting average.
Both really achieved significant time in the majors when they turned 23 (or so I presume with Hicks this year.)

So achievement-wise in the minors, they are pretty similar, but they seem like they have quite different tool sets to get there. It's also worth noting that Hunter struggled that first year in the majors, getting only 384 AB and hitting just .255 with a 689 OPS. And the next year he spent a lot of time in AAA. It wasn't until his 25-year-old year that he really broke out.

worm33
03-08-2013, 07:03 PM
I think Hicks best comp as a hitter is Milton Bradley. Prolly a better person though :)

diehardtwinsfan
03-08-2013, 08:14 PM
Point number 1: Sample size much? This was one game. One good game, but seriously this may be the best game of his career. One game should not make a decision on where he ends up.

Point number 2: I'm not sure about the Hicks/Hunter comparrison, and to be honest, any Hunter comparrison is dangerous. Hunter was a late bloomer. That rarely happens. Hicks could do it, yes... and that's far more likely given that they are both hitting the bigs at a very young age, but to project that type of improvement on Hicks would hardly be fair to him. Not to mention the fact that their hitting styles are nothing alike.

jokin
03-08-2013, 08:53 PM
Point number 1: Sample size much? This was one game. One good game, but seriously this may be the best game of his career. One game should not make a decision on where he ends up.

Point number 2: I'm not sure about the Hicks/Hunter comparrison, and to be honest, any Hunter comparrison is dangerous. Hunter was a late bloomer. That rarely happens. Hicks could do it, yes... and that's far more likely given that they are both hitting the bigs at a very young age, but to project that type of improvement on Hicks would hardly be fair to him. Not to mention the fact that their hitting styles are nothing alike.

I'm confident that Hicks will be an impactful player once he finally sticks. While it's exciting to see what he did last year, albeit in AA and is certainly the #1 topic this spring, it's important to remember that way back a "toolsy" Herman Hill was once the talk of spring training before he ended up on a likely 4th OF track before his tragic demise. Not saying that Hicks is Hill, just that thus far this spring Hick's numbers have come against an average pitcher experience level of AAAA, at best. The Twins should handle this potentially huge asset carefully to maximize his value. Is he capable of a Hunter-esque career, albeit in his own style in producing the numbers? Absolutely. Should he be annointed as such now? Definitely not. The body of evidence is simply not there to label him as "can't miss" and applying the label could damage his development. The Twins would be wise to continue to monitor his progression carefully. I hope he makes it North in the opening day lineup and hits the ground running, ala Harper (sans the delayed call-up). If the Twins don't bring him up right away, or demote him shortly after an early season failed tryout, it's no reason to panic and every reason to continue the Twins steady and patient course with Hicks, just as they did with Hunter.

The unbiased, and unemotionally attached, "projection experts" (ZIPS, Oliver, Steamer) certainly aren't expecting what the OP has practically deemed as the gospel outcome. He also failed to note Hicks' unrealistically sustainable recent minor league BABIP numbers. Based on their 2013 predictions of around .236/.317/.370/.687, I think realistic enthusiasm for Hicks in his first year would be .250/.330/.395/.725 (his OBP could be even better with the right guy batting #2).

FWIW: Hunter's first-year slash line was .255/.309/380/.689 (his BABIP dropped dramatically to .289):

http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails...71&position=OF (http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails.aspx?playerid=sa454371&position=OF)

Kwak
03-08-2013, 09:40 PM
Hunter provided far more than statistics. He was the rock of the OF and permitted pitchers to challenge hitters because of his outstanding defense. When Hunter stole a base--it came at a time when it was really useful--often late in close games. If Hicks becomes that CF, the Twins will be really lucky.

Top Gun
03-09-2013, 12:10 AM
Do a fantasy baseball draft, and then tell me what spring training means to you. I bet Hicks move up 100 places on draft sheets yesterday. you will be reading the news on every player daily then.

PseudoSABR
03-09-2013, 02:48 AM
Do a fantasy baseball draft, and then tell me what spring training means to you. I bet Hicks move up 100 places on draft sheets yesterday. you will be reading the news on every player daily then.Oh, boy.

kab21
03-09-2013, 05:09 AM
I just read something the other day that compared Buxton to Hunter. Is it safe to say that every toolsy CF'er will be comped to Hunter?

LaBombo
03-09-2013, 10:22 AM
Maybe if we're desperate for a twins CF comp for Hicks, we should start thinking Player B to keep expectations in line. He was a switch hitter who struggled from one side (albeit RH), had good plate discipline, some pop, and contact issues:

Hicks: AA age 22. 472 AB .286/.384/.460 79 BB 116K 13HR 32SB 11CS

Player B: AA age 21 516 AB .287/.398/.450 94 BB 117K 15HR 29SB 7CS

B was a third rounder who was less highly regarded than Hicks but who marched through the minors without a level repeat. Half season of AAA and midseason call up at 22. 98 AB .265/.351/.327 before knee injury ended season. Struggled following year in 392 mlb AB's posting .232/.303/.296. Put it together at age 24, 525 AB .291/.372/.434 12HR 19SB 5CS as the Twins CF in 1996...

Physics Guy
03-09-2013, 12:01 PM
I can only hope that Hicks doesn't turn out to be "Player B". I'd gladly take his 1996 season for a couple of years, but hopefully Hicks improves beyond that and doesn't fall flat on his face like Player B. If so, Buxton had better develop in a hurry.

worm33
03-09-2013, 02:30 PM
Maybe if we're desperate for a twins CF comp for Hicks, we should start thinking Player B to keep expectations in line. He was a switch hitter who struggled from one side (albeit RH), had good plate discipline, some pop, and contact issues:

Hicks: AA age 22. 472 AB .286/.384/.460 79 BB 116K 13HR 32SB 11CS

Player B: AA age 21 516 AB .287/.398/.450 94 BB 117K 15HR 29SB 7CS

B was a third rounder who was less highly regarded than Hicks but who marched through the minors without a level repeat. Half season of AAA and midseason call up at 22. 98 AB .265/.351/.327 before knee injury ended season. Struggled following year in 392 mlb AB's posting .232/.303/.296. Put it together at age 24, 525 AB .291/.372/.434 12HR 19SB 5CS as the Twins CF in 1996...

Yes, Rich Becker is a much better comp for Hicks then Hunter.

worm33
03-09-2013, 02:37 PM
I can only hope that Hicks doesn't turn out to be "Player B". I'd gladly take his 1996 season for a couple of years, but hopefully Hicks improves beyond that and doesn't fall flat on his face like Player B. If so, Buxton had better develop in a hurry.

Becker was well ahead of his time. Amazing that his last 2 years in the major leagues he posted the following lines...

1999: 327 AB 258/395/371
2000: 357 AB 242/384/375

His last 684 AB in the major leagues he posted a 390 OBP and couldnt find a job after that.

John Bonnes
03-09-2013, 02:49 PM
Becker was well ahead of his time. Amazing that his last 2 years in the major leagues he posted the following lines...

1999: 327 AB 258/395/371
2000: 357 AB 242/384/375

His last 684 AB in the major leagues he posted a 390 OBP and couldnt find a job after that.

Wow. That would make an interesting blog post. Or a neat thread.

worm33
03-09-2013, 03:08 PM
Wow. That would make an interesting blog post. Or a neat thread.

To be fair the league AVG OBP the last 3 years is about .322. In 1999-2000 it was .345

But still you think maybe the Giants should have signed Becker in 2001 and had him leadoff in front of Bonds 73 homeruns instead of having Marvin Benard (.320 OBP) or Armando Rios (.332). :)

Seth Stohs
03-10-2013, 12:58 AM
Yeah, I remember looking at Rich Becker's numbers a couple of years ago and thought that he would be much more appreciated now than he was in the mid-to-late '90s. He was a walk machine. He also struckout a ton.

And, to answer the question, will all toolsy outfielders in the Twins system be compared to Torii Hunter? Yes, of course. In the same way that all strike-throwing pitchers who top out at 91 yet put up good numbers will be compared to Brad Radke.

But, I would say that in terms of prospect status, Hicks and for sure Buxton are much more highly thought of prospects.

Snortwood
03-10-2013, 01:11 AM
Assuming the Cube's assessments are close to accurate, how is Hicks going to out-walk Beltran Patience of 94 when Hicks is a 71?

kab21
03-10-2013, 04:53 AM
And, to answer the question, will all toolsy outfielders in the Twins system be compared to Torii Hunter? Yes, of course. In the same way that all strike-throwing pitchers who top out at 91 yet put up good numbers will be compared to Brad Radke.


And that sums up my complaint with the Hunter comparison.

LaBombo
03-10-2013, 06:38 PM
Assuming the Cube's assessments are close to accurate, how is Hicks going to out-walk Beltran Patience of 94 when Hicks is a 71?

Other way 'round. Beltran 71, Hicks 94. For what they're worth.

UCLA_YANKEE_COLA
03-11-2013, 09:57 AM
Yes, Rich Becker is a much better comp for Hicks then Hunter.

I hate to be a stickler, but we should really refer to him by his full name. Richard Godhard Becker. Thanks.

LaBombo
03-11-2013, 10:10 AM
I hate to be a stickler, but we should really refer to him by his full name. Richard Godhard Becker. Thanks.

Thankfully, his name was never Twinkified down to 'Beckie'.

spycake
03-11-2013, 10:41 AM
Not to be a killjoy, but I have to second the poster who stressed that Hunter was a late bloomer. You can't project Hicks based on Hunter alone. There are probably a hundred guys in every age cohort that post similar minor league stat lines to Hunter. Only a very small number of them develop at AAA and in the majors like Hunter did. You have to compare Hicks to all of those guys, and consider all of those potential outcomes. (Although Hicks would probably have a very different set of comparables, based on walk rate.)

I would be curious to see what ZiPS would say about Hicks' career potential right now, but I'd give him rough outcome distribution like this: 50% bust potential (below average major leaguer), 30% average major leaguer, 20% above average (Hunter territory). And that's probably very favorable to Hicks, before we see whether he can continue his trends from 2012.

On the radio yesterday, Dick Bremer compared Hicks to Andrew McCutchen. Another bit of a late bloomer. I would put the odds of Hicks ever posting a season like McCutchen's 2012 at maybe 5%? (Of course, McCutchen probably won't post another season like that either!)

How many guys have we seen compared to Roberto Clemente, just because Clemente didn't become a star until his 6th major league season? I think Delmon Young even got compared to Clemente for awhile because of their ages and "similar stats".

Comparisons are definitely fun, but it's important not to lose sight of the basic facts. Hicks posted a solid all-around season at AA last year after a few disappointing years. For some guys, that's their peak; for a special few, it's part of an improving trend.

spycake
03-11-2013, 10:43 AM
Looking at spring stats, interesting to note that Hicks has only walked 1 time in 34 PA. That worries me a bit -- I want to see that OBP translating to higher competition, that's going to be key to his potential MLB success.

spycake
03-11-2013, 11:05 AM
Rich Becker is actually a really good comp for Hicks right now. And as a reality check, his career might be Hicks' most likely "good" outcome, at this point (although injuries certainly affected Becker).

Much is made of the Twins "passing the torch" in CF, from Puckett to Hunter to Span, but it's interesting that none of the three projected as stars in the minors.

Brock Beauchamp
03-11-2013, 11:25 AM
Looking at spring stats, interesting to note that Hicks has only walked 1 time in 34 PA. That worries me a bit -- I want to see that OBP translating to higher competition, that's going to be key to his potential MLB success.

That's not uncommon early in spring, as pitchers are throwing a lot of fastballs over the plate and hitters are looking to get their timing down and make good contact.

Plate discipline is something I completely ignore in ST.

LaBombo
03-11-2013, 12:11 PM
That's not uncommon early in spring, as pitchers are throwing a lot of fastballs over the plate and hitters are looking to get their timing down and make good contact.

Plate discipline is something I completely ignore in ST.

Really? It would seem like the pitchers who really matter when evaluating hitters in spring training would be working on the control of off-speed offerings and ensuring that the arm angle and release match the fastball as closely as possible.

But maybe you're right, that a crucial phase of the game magically disappears in an otherwise really meaningful set of exhibition games. Does that make a bunch more sense than the possibility that a kid who has been christened the default opening day center fielder by a borderline-negligent organization, and by much of the media and fan base as Torii Hunter and Kirby Puckett's love child, would be, I dunno, maybe pressing a bit, overly aggressive even?

Yeah, silly me.

John Bonnes
03-11-2013, 12:23 PM
Comparisons are definitely fun, but it's important not to lose sight of the basic facts. Hicks posted a solid all-around season at AA last year after a few disappointing years. For some guys, that's their peak; for a special few, it's part of an improving trend.

+1. Just like I get suspicious as soon as I hear any pitcher being compared to Tom Glavine.

Brock Beauchamp
03-11-2013, 01:20 PM
+1. Just like I get suspicious as soon as I hear any pitcher being compared to Tom Glavine.

My personal favorite is Maddux.

Because we all know how often guys with his ability, command, and brains come through baseball.

*rolls eyes*

spycake
03-11-2013, 01:29 PM
That's not uncommon early in spring, as pitchers are throwing a lot of fastballs over the plate and hitters are looking to get their timing down and make good contact.

Plate discipline is something I completely ignore in ST.
Just looking at BB-Ref's spring training stats (an awesome new feature there, by the way), so far this spring pitchers are posting cumulative 3.4 BB/9 and 7.1 K/9 rates. Here's how that compares with past seasons:



SEASON
BB/9
K/9


2013 ST
3.4
7.1


2012
3.1
7.6


2011
3.1
7.1


2010
3.3
7.1


2009
3.5
7.0


2008
3.4
6.8



It would obviously be interesting to see how past spring training rates compared with the following seasons, but this suggests overall rates aren't too out of line in the exhibition season.

In any case, Hicks' sample is quite small, so it may not be terribly meaningful anyway. Just something to keep an eye on, especially as the games get a little more "real" further into the exhibition schedule.

spycake
03-11-2013, 01:30 PM
My personal favorite is Maddux.
I'd like to see more pitchers compared to Maddux, fashion-wise.

Brock Beauchamp
03-11-2013, 02:53 PM
Really? It would seem like the pitchers who really matter when evaluating hitters in spring training would be working on the control of off-speed offerings and ensuring that the arm angle and release match the fastball as closely as possible.

But maybe you're right, that a crucial phase of the game magically disappears in an otherwise really meaningful set of exhibition games. Does that make a bunch more sense than the possibility that a kid who has been christened the default opening day center fielder by a borderline-negligent organization, and by much of the media and fan base as Torii Hunter and Kirby Puckett's love child, would be, I dunno, maybe pressing a bit, overly aggressive even?

Yeah, silly me.

Over aggressive much?

Yeah, there's a chance that Hicks is free-swinging a bit. On the other hand, he's absolutely raking against ST pitchers.

I don't think a guy is "pressing" when he's OPSing at 1.287 in ST.

I also don't think ST numbers are indicative of much of anything, whether it's plate discipline, average, slugging, or whatever.

Nick Nelson
03-11-2013, 10:27 PM
Really? It would seem like the pitchers who really matter when evaluating hitters in spring training would be working on the control of off-speed offerings and ensuring that the arm angle and release match the fastball as closely as possible.

But maybe you're right, that a crucial phase of the game magically disappears in an otherwise really meaningful set of exhibition games. Does that make a bunch more sense than the possibility that a kid who has been christened the default opening day center fielder by a borderline-negligent organization, and by much of the media and fan base as Torii Hunter and Kirby Puckett's love child, would be, I dunno, maybe pressing a bit, overly aggressive even?

Yeah, silly me.
That was an awful lot of sarcasm and snark expended making a horrible point. "Overly aggressive"? He's been the best hitter on the team. The dude is taking long at-bats and laying off bad pitches, it's not like he's swinging at everything. Your rant comes off as uninformed.