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

  1. #61
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    Good article, Nick. I'm guardedly optimistic, which is two 3-syllable words that allows me to avoid forming an opinion. With Fuld not ready to contribute, I'm okay with Hicks seeing what he can do with his switch in the majors. Today was a promising start, with a couple hits along with 2 K's. As I mentioned in another thread, I didn't see his second K, but the first was on a very tough slider...so I excuse that one.

    RiverB makes a great point above though. Aaron hasn't looked sharp at all batting LH against tough breaking balls, so the bar is already set pretty low. He also has a fairly good eye, as evidenced by his high walk rate, so maybe he will learn quickly how to lay off the outside slider. Time will tell...

  2. #62
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Good article Nick. I have been in the camp saying that it would be folly to give up the platoon advantage, but if the young man is so overwhelmed trying to groove two swings, maybe going only with his "strong" side will work out. The article gives a proper perspective how steep the odds are that this move will be a success. It seems like there isn't much to lose by giving it a shot.

  3. #63
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    I believe it's misguided (more like insane, really) to expect Hicks to learn how to hit from one side of the plate against MLB pitchers. He needs to go down to Rochester the moment the Twins can find a suitable replacement.

  4. #64
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    I think the most obvious impact this has is that Bonnes isn't going to have to work quite so hard to come up with a "big switch" this week.

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  6. #65
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    I'd guess the sample size of SH that exist is small. I'd guess the sample size that gave it up is quite small. I'd guess that the sample size of legit prospects that gave it up is even smaller. I respect that he's willing to give this a shot. It was clearly a hard decision, but adults make hard decisions, and he's done that here. I am hopeful.

  7. #66
    It is surprising that a switch hitter would choose to hit right handed when all of the advantages are clearly with a left-handed hitter. The decision speaks volumes about the complete lack of confidence in his left handed swing. I'm not sure how you get to the big leagues with such a flaw in your game.

  8. #67
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    Hicks will see a ton of sliders from now til he learns to lay off. It could get worse before we see some improvement. Hopefully he's a quick learner with this, which he hasn't shown yet.

  9. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I'd guess the sample size of SH that exist is small. I'd guess the sample size that gave it up is quite small. I'd guess that the sample size of legit prospects that gave it up is even smaller. .
    Exactly my thoughts. Add in the number that should never have taken it up in the 1st place. Hick's splits have always impeded his progress and my guess was that the absolute ceiling for hitting lefty against righty was the same as his stats batting righty against righty. Doesn't take much logic to say that is a losing proposition if the brightest outlook is to break even. As far as I am concerned Hicks should be judged from this day forward. Getting all his reps from the right side should do nothing but help. I remember Jim Eisenriech trying switch hitting in legion ball. He was ok but he was never going to be as good from the right side so gave it up. Someone should have recognized that in Hicks as well. I tend to give the Twins more benefit of the doubt but if a doofus like me can see it and predict it just from stats and his slow development I have to lay some blame at their feet. It shouldn't have been a decision in the hands of Hicks to start with. This is long overdue, IMO.

  10. #69
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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?

    None of those players struggled anywhere close to Hicks level. Most of them didn't struggle all that much. Knoblauch was ROY, Hrbek was 2nd for ROY ( behind Ripken I believe).

    Gomez had the ability to hit, he just had zero plate discipline & made mistakes from being overeager. Tori Hunter actually was sent back to AAA after spending a full yr (1999) in the ML so maybe getting sent back to the minors isn't such a bad idea.

    Personally, I don't see how anyone can argue that Hicks shouldn't be in AAA learning to play CF & work on his hitting. You can make a case that he isn't because the Twins have done a horrible job of mishandling him & they don't have any better options right now. But to think a guy who has hit less than .200 in 2 seasons & is now going to hit RH all the time should be doing so in the ML seems crazy.

    I agree that Presley or Fuld are not world beaters BUT even they are actually upgrades over Hicks & more importantly, they allow Hicks to develop & learn in AAA, which is where he should have been all along.

  11. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
    Exactly my thoughts. Add in the number that should never have taken it up in the 1st place. Hick's splits have always impeded his progress and my guess was that the absolute ceiling for hitting lefty against righty was the same as his stats batting righty against righty. Doesn't take much logic to say that is a losing proposition if the brightest outlook is to break even. As far as I am concerned Hicks should be judged from this day forward. Getting all his reps from the right side should do nothing but help. I remember Jim Eisenriech trying switch hitting in legion ball. He was ok but he was never going to be as good from the right side so gave it up. Someone should have recognized that in Hicks as well. I tend to give the Twins more benefit of the doubt but if a doofus like me can see it and predict it just from stats and his slow development I have to lay some blame at their feet. It shouldn't have been a decision in the hands of Hicks to start with. This is long overdue, IMO.
    If you go back to why he became a switch hitter, it tells the story. His dad forced him to become a switch hitter to test him and see if he really liked baseball (his dad did not want him to play baseball). He didn't do it because he was naturally gifted from both sides of the plate. Thanks Dad.

  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinswatcher View Post
    It is surprising that a switch hitter would choose to hit right handed when all of the advantages are clearly with a left-handed hitter. The decision speaks volumes about the complete lack of confidence in his left handed swing. I'm not sure how you get to the big leagues with such a flaw in your game.
    It was his natural side to start with. Its like being surprised a right handed hitter should have chosen batting left handed. He wasn't really a switch hitting talent.

  13. #72
    Does anyone know when Hicks STARTED switch hitting? He's getting destroyed for dropping the left side after working at switch hitting "since he was a young child". But, I feel like he didn't even start switch hitting until like high school? Can anyone verify this?

  14. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanaakre View Post
    Does anyone know when Hicks STARTED switch hitting? He's getting destroyed for dropping the left side after working at switch hitting "since he was a young child". But, I feel like he didn't even start switch hitting until like high school? Can anyone verify this?
    According to a BA article it was as a sophomore in high school.

  15. #74
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    According to an article on the MN Twins site, Hicks started switchi-hitting at age 11.

  16. #75
    I have always thought that Hicks' challenges were about maturity. Does he have what it takes to act and play like a major leaguer.

    The back story would be important to understand.

    Is this a grown up move by Hicks to truly change his approach or is it a short sighted, knee jerk reaction to increasing criticism about his performance - mostly to appease his detractors.

    If it is the former - then I am optimistic about his potential to grow from the change. If it is the latter - his days in Minnesota and in baseball are numbered.

    I fear that the switch will only increase - not decrease the pressure on the young man. On the other hand the switch could simplify things for him - allowing him a singular focus on becoming a big league right handed hitter.

    Only time will tell.

  17. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighTwinsFan View Post
    I have always thought that Hicks' challenges were about maturity. Does he have what it takes to act and play like a major leaguer.

    The back story would be important to understand.

    Is this a grown up move by Hicks to truly change his approach or is it a short sighted, knee jerk reaction to increasing criticism about his performance - mostly to appease his detractors.

    If it is the former - then I am optimistic about his potential to grow from the change. If it is the latter - his days in Minnesota and in baseball are numbered.

    I fear that the switch will only increase - not decrease the pressure on the young man. On the other hand the switch could simplify things for him - allowing him a singular focus on becoming a big league right handed hitter.

    Only time will tell.
    The Twins have botched this situation badly. Hicks has had lousy splits for six years in the minors and that would have been when to do this. I think it is still neccesary, just a shame he needs to do this at the MLB level because we wanted to put Bartlett on this team.

    Thinking through a team in rebuilding mode, with one of the best farm systems, you have to wonder whether this coaching staff/front office is the right one for the point the Twins are in their life cycle. To think of Gardy and the front office helping Buxton, Sano, Meyer, May, etc. adjust up here is kind of scary.

  18. #77
    The Twins really need to get a centerfielder so Hick can straigten his hitting in the minors. I'm not sold on him as a player, but they are going to ruin any chance he has of becoming a player. If they keep him up here, he may eventually figure out how to hit, but it's going to be with another team like Carlos Gomez.

  19. #78
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    I'm too lazy to look it up...but did Gomez "figure it out" in the majors or at AAA?

  20. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Beezer07 View Post
    I'm too lazy to look it up...but did Gomez "figure it out" in the majors or at AAA?
    In the major, but he went from a average player (excellent fielder) to an All Star. Hicks is a sub .200 hitter and not a very good outfielder, and trying to give up switch hitting.

    The problem is that everyone got frustrated with Gomez, so giving up and shipping him out was easy. Hicks is going down the Joe Benson path and he may never figure it out like Benson, but if you believe in Hicks, he would be better off learning at AAA.

  21. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
    In the major, but he went from a average player (excellent fielder) to an All Star. Hicks is a sub .200 hitter and not a very good outfielder, and trying to give up switch hitting.

    The problem is that everyone got frustrated with Gomez, so giving up and shipping him out was easy. Hicks is going down the Joe Benson path and he may never figure it out like Benson, but if you believe in Hicks, he would be better off learning at AAA.
    Well I believe in Hicks, and I don't think he'd be better off learning at AAA.

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