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  • The Blizzard of Oz

    As I look out any window, I am blinded by the results of several recent blizzards that have left Dakota Territory with an ultra-reflective blanket of glaring white snow. Nothing makes me miss Minnesota Twins baseball more. I close my eyes, but it’s not blackness. An orange-ish haze is all see, due to the sunlight attempting to breach my lightly-closed eyelids.

    Despite the overflow of natural light, I am able to envision big things for the Twins in my mind’s eye. A Venezuelan outfielder, Oswaldo Arcia, appears to be a mighty storm of a player. He will be ready to blow through the American League soon. Just how intense will the “Blizzard of Oz” be?


    The Twins signed Arcia as a 16-year-old back in 2007. His numbers as a 17-year-old in the GCL were very similar to Miguel Sano’s at the same age. He has sustained that production successfully up to the AA level. He really has nothing left to prove at any level but AAA.

    He has slow-cooked to perfection and will start his sixth year with the organization on the cusp of forcing a big-league call-up. Please take a look at the things he was doing in New Britain last year.

    Arcia’s accomplishments label him as a pure baller, and he will be a nice addition to the big club very soon. There is no need to rush him to the Major Leagues. But we could see a path cleared for Oswaldo mid-summer in 2013. His arrival would feel like a “Coors Light Blizzard” during the swelter of July and August (refreshing). And that will feel like Venezuela in February.

    This ain't HD, but listen to the wonderful sound Arcia's bat speed creates.


    This article was originally published in blog: The Blizzard of Oz started by mnfanforlife
    Comments 103 Comments
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      I am definitely a lot more excited to see what Arcia can do in the bigs than i am Hicks. Probably won't be a flashy defender, but his minor league stats would indicate a well rounded hitter. Sure he'll get the call after an injury or Morneau trade moving Parmelee to 1st.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by tjsyam921 View Post
      I am definitely a lot more excited to see what Arcia can do in the bigs than i am Hicks. Probably won't be a flashy defender, but his minor league stats would indicate a well rounded hitter. Sure he'll get the call after an injury or Morneau trade moving Parmelee to 1st.
      I'm really looking forward to watching both players. Hicks might not put up statistical seasons that make your eyes pop out, but his defense is going to be fantastic.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I have not been this excited about a Twins prospect since Morneau & Mauer.
      If you haven't already, watch those clips on the link mnfanforlife provided.
      This young man could really be something special.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Yes Old Goat. We could have a 2015 lineup of.....

      1. Hicks - CF
      2. Rosario - 2B
      3. Mauer - C
      4. Sano - 3B
      5. Arcia - RF
      6. Parmalee or Vargas - 1B
      7. Benson? - DH
      8. Roberts - LF
      9. Santana - SS
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
      I'm really looking forward to watching both players. Hicks might not put up statistical seasons that make your eyes pop out, but his defense is going to be fantastic.
      Yeah man...Hicks is going to be special. He keeps getting better at the plate and on the bases, and should be a real nice Major-League centerfielder
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
      Hicks might not put up statistical seasons that make your eyes pop out, but his defense is going to be fantastic.
      Basically echoing what others have said, the offensive bar for making my eyes pop is a lot lower for a centerfielder than for somebody on the corners. Span didn't have those numbers, but with 15-20 HR power he probably would have been around that threshold. Hicks could reach that, eventually.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Basically echoing what others have said, the offensive bar for making my eyes pop is a lot lower for a centerfielder than for somebody on the corners. Span didn't have those numbers, but with 15-20 HR power he probably would have been around that threshold. Hicks could reach that, eventually.
      If Hicks just gets a little bit better...you can imagine these offensive stats: .290 hitter, 100 Runs, 160 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 25 homers, 35 stolen bases. Nice lead-off hitter with power. Think Shannon Stewart or better as a hitter, and Gold Glove potential defender.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Back to "The Blizzard of Oz" - - - I envision a stat line like this in Minnesota: .300 hitter, 90 Runs, 45 doubles, 25 homers, 100+ RBI. Great 3-hole or 5-hole hitter.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      If Hicks just gets a little bit better...you can imagine these offensive stats: .290 hitter, 100 Runs, 160 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 25 homers, 35 stolen bases. Nice lead-off hitter with power. Think Shannon Stewart or better as a hitter, and Gold Glove potential defender.
      That is significantly more than a "little bit" better than Hicks' best year.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      If Hicks just gets a little bit better...you can imagine these offensive stats: .290 hitter, 100 Runs, 160 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 25 homers, 35 stolen bases. Nice lead-off hitter with power. Think Shannon Stewart or better as a hitter, and Gold Glove potential defender.
      I think you just make stuff up when you do your projections. Hicks is a .271 career hitter with 30 HR's in 3.5 full season ball seasons.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      If Hicks just gets a little bit better...you can imagine these offensive stats: .290 hitter, 100 Runs, 160 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 25 homers, 35 stolen bases. Nice lead-off hitter with power. Think Shannon Stewart or better as a hitter, and Gold Glove potential defender.
      I would temper the bombs and steals a bit but the rest is probably within range in a couple of years.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Yeah, Hicks is getting better....slowly. He will hit for power, but maybe 25 HR's is a high projection for him. Every other number is pretty much what he did at NB. His hit/at-bat ratio was good last year, even though he has moved up a level after hitting .242
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      I think you just make stuff up when you do your projections. Hicks is a .271 career hitter with 30 HR's in 3.5 full season ball seasons.
      That's kind of how projections work...you make them up. The only number that was a reach was the 25 HR's.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      That's kind of how projections work...you make them up. The only number that was a reach was the 25 HR's.
      .290 isn't a reach despite the FACT that he has NEVER hit .290 in full season ball?

      Your projections are nothing more than looking at a players ultimate upside and then adding some to it.

      The only time that Hicks has posted halfway decent BA's were in seasons where he had high BAPIP's. Typically those high BAPIP's go away in the majors due to better defenders and field conditions. Hicks is more likely a .260's hitter since BA's in the majors are typically lower than the minors. This year I'm just hoping he hits .250 and I'm not very optimistic.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      .290 isn't a reach despite the FACT that he has NEVER hit .290 in full season ball?

      Your projections are nothing more than looking at a players ultimate upside and then adding some to it.

      The only time that Hicks has posted halfway decent BA's were in seasons where he had high BAPIP's. Typically those high BAPIP's go away in the majors due to better defenders and field conditions. Hicks is more likely a .260's hitter since BA's in the majors are typically lower than the minors. This year I'm just hoping he hits .250 and I'm not very optimistic.
      Hicks hit .286 last year, and .290 isn't exactly "off-the-charts" as conceivable for Hicks in the big-leagues. I believe Hicks will have more hits/at-bats as he gets in to his late-20's and through his 30's....I stand by my projections, and I'm not afraid to be bold with my predictions. If you discredit my projections, then that is your right. I'm sorry that you're not very optimistic.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Another prospect, Miguel Sano, hit .258 last year....Yet, many pro-scouts project him to hit for a high average as he matures. Hicks' situation is not identical, but I like how he handled AA last year. Made a huge jump in hit/at-bat ratio from A+ to AA...why not expect him to maintain those numbers in AAA, and ultimately in MLB??
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Hicks hit .286 last year
      He was also two levels below MLB.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Hicks hit .286 last year, and .290 isn't exactly "off-the-charts" as conceivable for Hicks in the big-leagues. I believe Hicks will have more hits/at-bats as he gets in to his late-20's and through his 30's....I stand by my projections, and I'm not afraid to be bold with my predictions. If you discredit my projections, then that is your right. I'm sorry that you're not very optimistic.
      Hicks hasn't hit .290 since rookie ball and isn't particularly young for his level. Is it impossible for him to hit .290? No, but it's extremely unlikely.

      And that's fine. The guy has a bag full of tools, it's okay if one is slightly deficient. It's not about lack of optimism, it's about blind faith and near impossibilities. Hicks will be just fine at .275 or .280 because he gets on base all the friggin' time. No one is saying he'll be a bad player, they're just keeping their expectations reasonable.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      .Yet, many pro-scouts project him to hit for a high average as he matures.
      Attachment 3359
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      It's pretty clear that you haven't followed hardly any prospects from the minors to the majors. BA usually drops and it usually drops a lot. Throwing out a projection that is 4 pts higher than his best season ever is WAY over optimistic.

      Why is Sano's scouting report at all relevant to Hicks? Sano has struggled to hit for average for one season and he actually is a special prospect. Hicks has struggled to hit for average for 3.5 seasons and that is a relevant sample size. At the very least do you have a scouting report that suggests that Hicks will hit for average?

      Here are career MiLB and MLB BA's of most of the Twins that have succeeded at the MLB level in the last decade. I hope I don't need to tell you what the trend is.
      Mauer MiLB BA = .330 and MLB BA = .323
      Kubel .320 - .268
      Cuddyer .291 - .271
      Morneau .311 - .280
      Span .286 - .284
      Hunter .270 - .277 - the only player whose average went up
      Koskie .288 - .275
      Bartlett .299 - .271
      Jones .295 - .277
      Lecroy .290 - .260
      Ortiz .310 - .285
      Guzman .278 - .271
      Hicks career MiLB .271

      Do you have any idea how much of a statistical outlier it would be for Hicks to hit .290 in the majors? Like I said before .260's is what Hicks will likely hit and it could be much worse based on how much BA typically drops for MLB hitters.
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