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Thread: Article: It's All Right: Hicks Gives Up Switch-Hitting

  1. #41
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I also don't like watching guys with .190 batting averages hit or watch major league centerfielders see how many circles they can make trying to catch a ball. There are issues on both sides of this that speak to your point.
    Fair points. We're arguing over the lesser of two evils, I agree.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

  2. #42
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Well, that wasn't necessary and I don't like it either, but that goes back to incompetence by the Twins in forming their roster.

    I think Hicks needs some time to refine his game at a place he's more likely to experience success when he makes good adjustments. Since he's overmatched in the bigs, AAA would be what's best for him in my opinion. This is much like what the Twins did with Hunter that helped him elevate his play.

    The awful situation in CF hurts, but you only compound that problem by refusing to do what's right by an important prospect.
    I actually agree that, ideally, he would have more time in AAA. But that isn't an option. And every other option is worse. So we make the best of a situation that is less than ideal. And that's baseball. Very seldom are teams constructed under ideal circumstances. Sometimes it means guys have to play up here before they're ready. Take Brian Dozier, for example. Sometimes, guys rise to the occasion. Sometimes they don't, sometimes it rains.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  3. #43
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I actually agree that, ideally, he would have more time in AAA. But that isn't an option. And every other option is worse. So we make the best of a situation that is less than ideal. And that's baseball. Very seldom are teams constructed under ideal circumstances. Sometimes it means guys have to play up here before they're ready. Take Brian Dozier, for example. Sometimes, guys rise to the occasion. Sometimes they don't, sometimes it rains.
    We just disagree about what is the worst option. To me, the worst option is making this kid play at a level he isn't ready for and possibly hurting his long-term future.

    Ideally we have a capable CF on the roster other than him, but that isn't the case. So personally I defer to what's right for the young player.

  4. #44
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    We just disagree about what is the worst option. To me, the worst option is making this kid play at a level he isn't ready for and possibly hurting his long-term future.

    Ideally we have a capable CF on the roster other than him, but that isn't the case. So personally I defer to what's right for the young player.
    I have seen enough young players produce before their time to hope he adjusts. I mentioned Dozier. But what about Knoblauch? Or Hrbek. Hunter was as raw as they come when he came up. Even Puckett had a lot to learn. And what harm is it doing him? Gomez turned out all right. If a guy just never adjusts, maybe he didn't have the talent after all. How can we be so sure that it will stunt his growth?
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  5. #45
    Toronto just picked up a AAA CF for cash. This is not this complex. Send Hicks down for development and get someone else until Fuld is back.

  6. #46
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I have seen enough young players produce before their time to hope he adjusts. I mentioned Dozier. But what about Knoblauch? Or Hrbek. Hunter was as raw as they come when he came up. Even Puckett had a lot to learn. And what harm is it doing him? Gomez turned out all right. If a guy just never adjusts, maybe he didn't have the talent after all. How can we be so sure that it will stunt his growth?
    And Hicks is as raw as they come. I mean, he had one of the worst historical starts to his career of all time. I would call THAT as raw as they come.

    My only concern sending him down is his confidence. Watching him play, however, has me fully convinced he is not ready for this league. He has fundamental adjustments to make that the added pressures of the big leagues might be making worse. To me, he needs what we did for Hunter.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    People must really hate Hicks if they think Santana is a better option.
    Did I miss something? Has anyone said Santana is a better option in CF? I'm not in the "Hate Hicks" camp, and it's clear that Hicks has to be with the Twins, at the very least, for the time being. The question on the table though: Is that what's best for Hicks and the Twins? The Twins are in such a desperate situation they are going to have Hermann taking reps in CF, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. And in the process, they are putting Santana's development on hold at SS, until Fuld, or some other option becomes available.....
    Perhaps the Twins need look no further than the Texas Rangers, Engel Beltre is out of options and is eligible to come off of the DL this Thursday. They also have Joe Aducci, also on the DL with a broken finger, who has played quite a bit in CF in the minors.

  8. #48
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
    Toronto just picked up a AAA CF for cash. This is not this complex. Send Hicks down for development and get someone else until Fuld is back.
    So you would start the next game without a center fielder for some hope that Hicks has prescious development time? I'm glad you are not the Twins GM.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  9. #49
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    Signing a replacement level player from another franchise makes no sense--especially one in his late 20's--he isn't going to improve. The Twins aren't in need of hole-pluggers, they need bonafide every day players. They need the foundation of talent to build a winner--cornerstones, building blocks and a keystone--not role players to plug a hole. People chafed at Gomez--yet he improved! How God-awful was Plouffe?--and voila` he is considered an every day player by this franchise (not by me though!). Pitchers often struggle before they succeed. There will be some who only fail (maybe Hicks is one of those guys), but replacing Hicks with a replacement-player makes no sense at all.

  10. This user likes Kwak's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    jorgenswest (05-26-2014)

  11. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    Signing a replacement level player from another franchise makes no sense--especially one in his late 20's--he isn't going to improve. The Twins aren't in need of hole-pluggers, they need bonafide every day players. They need the foundation of talent to build a winner--cornerstones, building blocks and a keystone--not role players to plug a hole. People chafed at Gomez--yet he improved! How God-awful was Plouffe?--and voila` he is considered an every day player by this franchise (not by me though!). Pitchers often struggle before they succeed. There will be some who only fail (maybe Hicks is one of those guys), but replacing Hicks with a replacement-player makes no sense at all.
    I don't think anyone disagrees with the bolded portion, it's how you get there, particularly with players like Hicks and Florimon, who have been historically as bad at the plate to begin their careers, particularly Hicks, as just about anyone who has ever played the game. Many of us see the need for Hicks to get some work at fixing his areas of deficency in AAA, a level that the Twins chose to skip for Hicks, but which it is now obvious that he clearly needed. There is a very real risk that Hicks never reaches his full potential precisely due to what he's been subjected to the last 14 months.

    It is nothing about the improvement of a replacement level player in his late 20s, it's all about developing, and at this point, possibly salvaging, the career of Aaron Hicks.
    Last edited by jokin; 05-26-2014 at 08:32 PM.

  12. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    So you would start the next game without a center fielder for some hope that Hicks has prescious development time? I'm glad you are not the Twins GM.
    I don't think that is in any way what the commenter said.

  13. #52
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    So you would start the next game without a center fielder for some hope that Hicks has prescious development time? I'm glad you are not the Twins GM.
    You seem awfully dismissive of the idea of prospect development. How far does that extend? Call up Kohl Stewart now? Might as well learn and take his lumps right?

  14. #53
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    I think Hicks giving up switch hitting will be a positive for him in his ultimate development. I don't understand leaving him to flail away at pitching he can't handle with the opinion that he'll eventually just figure it out though, how is that a benefit? It's clear Hicks needs to refine his approach, groove a swing that is able to make solid and consistent contact and build his confidence. Personally I think that is best done in AAA, he's just not able to have the sustained success in the majors for it to happen.

    It couldn't hurt his defensive development either. Pressure is a big mental hurdle for young players to overcome, Hicks is better served working on things where the stakes are lower and the spotlight not as bright.

    The Twins should be pursuing a stop gap to back up Fuld when he returns, or vice versa, whatever.

  15. #54
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    Aaron Hicks is 24 years old and came to the organization in 2008. He was already sent back to the minors last year and I do not see where he improved. I think the next move is on Hicks. He needs to figure this out and play better. I don't think it matters if you send him down or not.
    Last edited by Otwins; 05-26-2014 at 09:09 PM. Reason: spelling

  16. #55
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otwins View Post
    Aaron Hicks is 24 years old and came to the organization in 2008. He was already sent back to the minors last year and I do not see where he improved. I think the next move is on Hicks. He needs to figure this out and play better. I don't think it matters if you send him down or not.
    Yes, he was sent down. But all he got was 82 extremely uninspiring plate appearances and the same problems this spring.

    To me, that implies the problems haven't been fixed yet even at a level below the one he's hitting at now.

  17. #56
    I don't think finding a centerfielder is as difficult as we are making it. The most important thing should be Hicks development. Now he collecting major league service time and hitting below .200. He has been rushed, give him some development time. It's not like they Twins are serious playoff contenders. His average and defensive play at the major league level can't be that hard to replace. Right now we have a shortstop playing centerfield, so I'm not too concerned that they will not be able to find someone to play.

    I'm not convinced Hicks is ever going to be a major league player, but it makes no sense to push him to the bigs when he not ready. We rushed Carlos Gomez and then had to start paying him so he was traded, then developed into an All Star.

  18. #57
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: It's All Right: Hicks Gives Up Switch-Hitting


  19. #58
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    I think it just might help and I think he will adjust quicker then Gardy or any of us imagine.

    The breaking pitch is gonna be the hard part. It's gonna break down and away instead of down and in but it's not like he was doing well with the "down and in" anyway.

  20. #59
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    Hicks is 2-for-4 day 1 as a righty only. Let's just string a few more together.

    thrylos was right...BALK!

    It's crazy how bad this team is playing, yet it's right around .500.

    Mauer is k-prone singles hitter with a huge contract.
    Our #3 hitter, well he strikes out 30% of the time, hits .250.
    Our cleanup hitter? well, whoever just came up from AAA.
    Our outfield? Or our outfield of infielders. I've never seen such bad instincts on fly balls before. I can't believe these guys didn't play multiple positions going up at least through high school.

    Lots of other tough spots. But somehow, we're competing here and there.

  21. #60
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    Hicks has really frustrated me at times, and I have to admit I was close to writing him off this weekend. But with the switch hitting development, I'm okay with waiting to see what he does with it. There are two things that Aaron has struggled with: hitting from the left, and playing balls over his head. He still needs a lot of work on going back on the ball in CF, but I'm eager to see what he does against RHP as a righty. I didn't see his second strikeout today, but his first three at bats gave me something to be excited about...2 hits, and a strikeout on a nasty slider that many would have waved at. Seeing balls spinning away from him is going to be challenging for awhile, and it remains to be seen how long his adjustment period will be. It would be nice if the Twins had a coach who could throw a good slider to give Hicks a lot of looks at it, but I don't know if they have someone like that...or if Aaron is willing to put the work in to master this new challenge.

    Hicks' arm, foot speed, and ability to make sensational plays on balls hit in front of him or in the gaps, makes him an intriguing prospect. If dropping LHB can significantly improve his hitting, we may have a viable option for our pre-Buxton CF.

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