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Aaron Hicks quietly posting good numbers in New Britain

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#1 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:52 AM

Given his flirtation with giving up switch-hitting (and baffling return to it a few weeks later), I wanted to dig a bit further into his splits and see how he was holding up.

According to Minor League Central, he is indeed taking all his swings as a RHB in New Britain. Good news, for sure.

http://minorleaguece...tter&split=2014

His line drive rate is low and he's hitting a ton of balls on the ground but that OPS is promising.

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:17 AM

Good to see. Hopefully he gets to AAA sometime and learns to hit. His BB and K rates in the majors weren't horrible.

#3 TheLeviathan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

It's good he's having some success, I'd imagine it feels good and is mental boost. Still, what he does at NB isn't interesting to me. I need to see him in AAA doing it before I want him back.

#4 spycake

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:59 AM

Agreed, good to see he is performing like a more normal ballplayer again.

Let him sustain this over a bit larger sample, maybe improve that groundball rate a bit , before promoting him to AAA.

#5 Willihammer

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:12 AM

His production is so heavily OBP driven. And that's good. But I would be more encouraged if he stockpiled more hits or if more of his hits went for extra bases. We already know that a walks-singles version of Hicks at NB only translates to a .600 batter in the Show.

#6 TRex

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:51 AM

According to Minor League Central, he is indeed taking all his swings as a RHB in New Britain. Good news, for sure.


But that graph suggests he has not taken ANY at bats vs. a right-handed pitcher as a left-handed batter, and we know that is not correct!

#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

His production is so heavily OBP driven. And that's good. But I would be more encouraged if he stockpiled more hits or if more of his hits went for extra bases. We already know that a walks-singles version of Hicks at NB only translates to a .600 batter in the Show.



As of this morning he has a respectable .281 average. I'll take it. We know he's got some power. I'd just prefer he improved that contact for the time being.

#8 cmb0252

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:39 PM

I'm afraid fans and the front office might give up on him too quick and he might become Gomez 2.0. Obviously he hasn't shown that he is a big leaguer but he still has the tools to be.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:05 PM

I'm afraid fans and the front office might give up on him too quick and he might become Gomez 2.0. Obviously he hasn't shown that he is a big leaguer but he still has the tools to be.


There are many that haven't given up on him and I'm sure the front office is among that group.

I thought Hicks was mis-handled but he's still only 24. There's plenty of time for him to get back on track.

#10 glunn

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:13 PM

I'm afraid fans and the front office might give up on him too quick and he might become Gomez 2.0. Obviously he hasn't shown that he is a big leaguer but he still has the tools to be.


I share your concern about missing out on Gomez 2.0.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:14 PM

Right, you don't give up on him (like they have other young players), you send him to the minors to get better at his craft. I hope he succeeds, however he is hitting (L, R, SH, whatever).
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#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:15 PM

I don't think Gomez and Hicks are all that comparable in one big way. Hicks is what he is, they did not try to change him. Gomez, they tried to make into a certain mold that did not fit him. I don't get the sense that is what happened with Hicks so far. But then, I am not in the room, maybe they are.
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#13 SDFan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:23 PM

I have to think that simply restoring some confidence will do him a world of good. I would love to see the Aaron Hicks story with the Twins have a Part 2, where he turns into a great player for many years. Kind of like Perkins, who was pretty awful as a starter and also had some dust-ups with management, as I recall.

#14 DJL44

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

Looks like he's treading water. These numbers look like his production in New Britain in 2012.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:33 PM

I don't think Gomez and Hicks are all that comparable in one big way. Hicks is what he is, they did not try to change him. Gomez, they tried to make into a certain mold that did not fit him. I don't get the sense that is what happened with Hicks so far. But then, I am not in the room, maybe they are.


I don't think the Twins did anything wrong with Gomez outside of keeping him on the MLB roster instead of demoting him and letting him sort out his issues in the minors.

These are Gomez's seasons by age, team, OPS+.

21 - NYM - 55
22 - MIN - 77
23 - MIN - 65
24 - MIL - 76
25 - MIL - 82
26 - MIL - 101
27 - MIL - 129
28 - MIL - 138

That screams "rushed to the majors" and "typical development through to prime seasons".

Gomez always had oodles of talent but the Mets rushed him and the Twins inexplicably continued the process before trading him to the Brewers. The guy just needed development time, that's all.

#16 Oxtung

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:36 PM

I have to think that simply restoring some confidence will do him a world of good. I would love to see the Aaron Hicks story with the Twins have a Part 2, where he turns into a great player for many years. Kind of like Perkins, who was pretty awful as a starter and also had some dust-ups with management, as I recall.


Should we send Hicks a link to a Fangraphs article about strikeouts being bad (for a hitter)? Perhaps about the relationship between LD%, BABIP and batting average? ;)

#17 ashburyjohn

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

Looks like he's treading water. These numbers look like his production in New Britain in 2012.


Just from the numbers, I'd agree. But if it's correct that he's taking all his swings from the right-hand side, then a "one step backward in order to take two steps forward" process is at least promising, if the step backward is only this small. No guarantee the two steps forward will happen, but there's a chance.

#18 JB_Iowa

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:52 PM

Looks like he's treading water. These numbers look like his production in New Britain in 2012.


They do until you take into account that he started pretty slowly when he was first sent down. They don't put splits on baseball reference for minor leagues (that I can find anyway) but just from paying attention to what the sportswriters have been saying, it seems to me that there has been a nice improvement over the last week or two.

I think we have to see where this trends before concluding that he is just "treading water".

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:53 PM

Gomez has been very explicit in stating the Twins wanted him to approach at bats one way, and when the Breweres told him he was free to do it another way, that's when he got good. Ortiz has said it too, as you know. That's what I was referring to. It is certainly possible that isn't true, that he's wrong. That he's hitting better because he is more experienced now. It is alos possible that he's right, that when he was freed up to be Gomez, and not something he wasn't, that he got good.

I was not commenting at all on the rest of Gomez, just that one part. That one part is what is not comparable. Other parts of their story, sure, comparable. Maybe I could have typed that first sentence more clearly.
Lighten up Francis....

#20 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

I don't think the Twins did anything wrong with Gomez outside of keeping him on the MLB roster instead of demoting him and letting him sort out his issues in the minors.

These are Gomez's seasons by age, team, OPS+.

21 - NYM - 55
22 - MIN - 77
23 - MIN - 65
24 - MIL - 76
25 - MIL - 82
26 - MIL - 101
27 - MIL - 129
28 - MIL - 138

That screams "rushed to the majors" and "typical development through to prime seasons".

Gomez always had oodles of talent but the Mets rushed him and the Twins inexplicably continued the process before trading him to the Brewers. The guy just needed development time, that's all.


Agreed, the Mets screwed him over big time and the Twins were a playoff team those early years Gomez was here, so the Twins were in win now mode which meant putting out their best roster each day. As bad as Gomez was hitting wise, nobody doubted the defense he had.
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#21 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

Gomez has been very explicit in stating the Twins wanted him to approach at bats one way, and when the Breweres told him he was free to do it another way, that's when he got good. Ortiz has said it too, as you know. That's what I was referring to. It is certainly possible that isn't true, that he's wrong. That he's hitting better because he is more experienced now. It is alos possible that he's right, that when he was freed up to be Gomez, and not something he wasn't, that he got good.

I was not commenting at all on the rest of Gomez, just that one part. That one part is what is not comparable. Other parts of their story, sure, comparable. Maybe I could have typed that first sentence more clearly.


It took him until his third season in Mil before he became "good", lets not pretend it was an overnight thing.
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#22 drjim

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:23 PM

It took him until his third season in Mil before he became "good", lets not pretend it was an overnight thing.


Can we stop letting facts get in the way of a narrative?
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#23 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:35 PM

Where did I say it was overnight?

"when the Breweres told him he was free to do it another way, that's when he got good", I didn't say they did that right away. I did not say I even knew it was true, I said it is what he said.
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#24 Steve Lein

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:44 PM

They do until you take into account that he started pretty slowly when he was first sent down.


Yeah, he's hitting .414/.553/.552 in his last 10 games... Mostly singles, but also 9 BB's to 7 K's.
Scouting Report: Tools - Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
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#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:45 PM

On the Hicks' topic.....to me, it is about hard contact. I just want hard contact for now. That would be huge, imo. Hitting the ball hard.
Lighten up Francis....

#26 THE DFC

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:01 PM

I don't think the Twins did anything wrong with Gomez outside of keeping him on the MLB roster instead of demoting him and letting him sort out his issues in the minors.

These are Gomez's seasons by age, team, OPS+.

21 - NYM - 55
22 - MIN - 77
23 - MIN - 65
24 - MIL - 76
25 - MIL - 82
26 - MIL - 101
27 - MIL - 129
28 - MIL - 138

That screams "rushed to the majors" and "typical development through to prime seasons".

Gomez always had oodles of talent but the Mets rushed him and the Twins inexplicably continued the process before trading him to the Brewers. The guy just needed development time, that's all.


Let's continue this...

Gomez:

24 - MIL - 76
25 - MIL - 82
26 - MIL - 101
27 - MIL - 129

Dozier:

25 - MIN - 67
26 - MIN - 98
27 - MIN -109

Hunter:

24 - MIN - 80
25 - MIN - 102
26 - MIN - 124

Morneau:

22 - MIN - 73
23 - MIN - 122 (74 games)
24 - MIN - 93
25 - MIN - 140

Cuddyer:

25 - MIN - 100
26 - MIN - 97
27 - MIN -124

As we approach the wave of Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Polanco, Vargas, etc., etc. to go in with Arcia, Santana, Hicks, etc., we have to remember that pretty much every good hitter in recent Twins memory head a bunch of sinking/treading water seasons until ultimately breaking out around 26 or 27.

Hicks is 24. Arcia is barely 23. Next year, Sano will be 22, Buxton will be 21.

#27 Jim H

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:28 PM

We know that some people will take shots at the Twins organization whenever the opportunity presents. That is OK, the Twins deserve some shots. Just don't be so surprised when facts are presented to counter the shots. Especially here, where I am having a hard time figuring out what Gomez has to do with the troubles that Hicks has had.

Largely, the Twins have screwed up with Hicks. Either they believed he was closer to being a major league ready hitter than he has appeared to be or there were other issues that the Twins didn't recognize soon enough. In any case they probably should of gotten him back to the minors much sooner or perhaps given him more development time before promoting him to the majors in the first place.

Having said that, I am rooting for Hicks to figure it out. He certainly has talent. By the way, I was under the impression that he is switch hitting. I suspect that if he had gone back to being a right handed hitter again, it would have been widely reported.

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 11 July 2014 - 10:07 AM.


#28 Sconnie

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:22 PM

We know that some people will take shots at the Twins organization whenever the opportunity presents. That is OK, the Twins deserve some shots. Just don't be so surprised when facts are presented to counter the shots. Especially here, where I am having a hard time figuring out what Gomez has to do with the troubles that Hicks has had.

Largely, the Twins have screwed up with Hicks. Either they believed he was closer to being a major league ready hitter than he has appeared to be or there were other issues that the Twins didn't recognize soon enough. In any case they probably should of gotten him back to the minors much sooner or perhaps given him more development time before promoting him to the majors in the first place.

Having said that, I am rooting for Hicks to figure it out. He certainly has talent. By the way, I was under the impression that he is switch hitting. I suspect that if he had gone back to being a right handed hitter again, it would have been widely reported.

it appears that Hicks may be treated by the organization similarly to Gomez. At least that seems to be the direction. The move to the minors seems to be an admission of guilt, but it may be too late.

I hope that is not the case that Hicks us being given up on, because I think the Twins traded Gomez at a time when they should have kept him and worked with him more. There's no telling if Gomez could have become the player he is today, had he stayed with the Twins, but he would have developed and improved over where he was. No matter what he would have been an improvement over Revere, and an OF of Gomez, Span, and Cuddy playing at or close to their primes, would have been pretty awesome. I'm afraid that the player to best be MLB CF in 2015 and beyond, with plenty of tools, has already been passed by for Sam Fuld.

#29 JB_Iowa

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:39 PM

Thursday, July 10:

Hicks is 1 for 3 plus a walk; was a base hit; he had 1 rbi and no strikeouts


BA up to .284

#30 ashburyjohn

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:55 AM

They don't put splits on baseball reference for minor leagues (that I can find anyway)


If you mean minor league stats for a player, go to his minor league page and look for "Gamelogs & Splits" and pick the year you want. It's easy to miss. Not as elaborate as for the majors, but it's something.