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

  1. #81
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    Hicks would benefit from batting right-against-righty in a development setting, i.e. AAA. On the other hand, Hicks has taken a positive step on his own initiative, which is a sign of maturity. It's an interesting situation. The fact that he got two hits yesterday against right-handers shows that he's on to something. What Hicks needs now is, a little less yelling and screaming. I don't think Scroggins did him any favors by pissing all over his decision to abandon batting lefty.

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  3. #82
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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.
    Granted he came up much younger, but Gomez didn't really "figure it out" at the plate until year 5 or 6. His OPS bounced between .640-.670 for 4-5 years. Alex Pressley, who we discarded had a career OPS of .714 prior to this year and he is regarded as a 4th OF.

  4. #83
    i think it make sence he he hits .286 as a rhb vs. 145 as a lhb. my only ? is why he didn't do it sooner, and i sort of know the answer to it.

  5. #84
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm more optimistic than some because I abandoned switch hitting and I found it much easier. In particular, I had an easier time recognizing the breaking ball out of the hand of a right hander as a right handed hitter. I also took away the back-door breaking ball from right handers. That is one of Hick's weaknesses as a left-handed hitter.

    He was always looking for that pitch middle in. If he didn't get it, he often struck out looking. So right handers stayed away from him and threw a lot of back-door breaking balls. He tended to give up on that pitch as a left handed hitter, and it would get called on him.

    The one major leaguer who did this recently was successful at it. And he was older than Hicks. Are there examples of players who did worse after making this change?
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  6. #85
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
    i think it make sence he he hits .286 as a rhb vs. 145 as a lhb. my only ? is why he didn't do it sooner, and i sort of know the answer to it.
    I think it was his father. Now he's his own man, he can make his own decisions.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  7. #86
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Maybe I'm more optimistic than some because I abandoned switch hitting and I found it much easier.
    Did you abandon it against the likes of Justin Verlander when you re-learned? With a constant spotlight on you and open confidence issues?

  8. #87
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Did you abandon it against the likes of Justin Verlander when you re-learned? With a constant spotlight on you and open confidence issues?
    No. But he can't do much worse than he's done against Verlander as a left-handed hitter. Against the Tigers, Hicks sports a .098/.196/.171 tripple slash with 20 Ks in 46 plate appearances. I believe 12 of those Ks have come against Verlander. When I think of his weakness against the back-door breaking ball, I remember all his Ks against Verlander, beginning with the very first one. They don't throw breaking balls like that in the minors.

    Then again, Victorino led the lead in HBP last year. So Hicks better get some armor on.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  9. #88
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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.
    They also managed to acquire a very good SS in trade for Gomez. Right now, they would have trouble getting anyone of value for Hicks.

    I really, really hope he turns into a productive ML player but right now he is far from that & his best chance to reach that level is in a minor league setting.

    Is there any another team in the ML that Hicks would be a starting CF for right now? I can't imagine any team would prefer him as their starting CF vs. gaining experience in the minors.

  10. #89
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Granted he came up much younger, but Gomez didn't really "figure it out" at the plate until year 5 or 6. His OPS bounced between .640-.670 for 4-5 years. Alex Pressley, who we discarded had a career OPS of .714 prior to this year and he is regarded as a 4th OF.
    That's a good point about Presley, but if you're using Gomez as a comp for Hicks, there's one thing to be concerned about. Gomez would go through stretches where he would practically run into the stands to swing at a pitch outside the zone, but even so he never struggled anywhere near the way Hicks has with making solid contact. His ground ball rate was roughly 15% lower than Hicks' so far.

    Hicks is already one of the most patient and passive hitters in MLB. Gomez was one of the most aggressive. If it's a choice between betting on the hacker learning patience in their latter 20's or the passive guy learning to drive the ball, my money is on the hacker more often than not.

    Also, it remains to be seen whether Hicks can sustain his excellent walk rate with the switch to RHB, and with a below-average line drive rate and ISO of just .063.

    That being said, with the switch to not switching sides, I'm more optimistic about Hicks now than at any point since the end of his excellent 2012 AA campaign.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 05-27-2014 at 04:40 PM.

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  12. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Did you abandon it against the likes of Justin Verlander when you re-learned? With a constant spotlight on you and open confidence issues?
    The rest of his quote " . In particular, I had an easier time recognizing the breaking ball out of the hand of a right hander as a right handed hitter. I also took away the back-door breaking ball from right handers. That is one of Hick's weaknesses as a left-handed hitter. " is valid regardless of level and pressures. I always though he looked particularly weak from the left side against curve balls breaking into him. Fact is he is 2 for 4 against right handers. How long did it take him to get his 1st two hits last year and how long before he got a multi hit game. Concentrating on one swing should only help him.

  13. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
    The rest of his quote " . In particular, I had an easier time recognizing the breaking ball out of the hand of a right hander as a right handed hitter. I also took away the back-door breaking ball from right handers. That is one of Hick's weaknesses as a left-handed hitter. " is valid regardless of level and pressures. I always though he looked particularly weak from the left side against curve balls breaking into him. Fact is he is 2 for 4 against right handers. How long did it take him to get his 1st two hits last year and how long before he got a multi hit game. Concentrating on one swing should only help him.
    That's all fine in theory...but he's barely been a .200 hitter and isn't making strong contact from either side of the plate. If he was a .280 hitter from the right side who drove the ball, ok, I could see the optimism.

    But we're literally suggesting that a guy who has had his rear-end handed to him for about a full season now is magically going to turn things around by doing something at the plate he hasn't done since he was a preteen.

    Lauding this as worthy of giving a shot is just baffling to me.

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  15. #92
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    But we're literally suggesting that a guy who has had his rear-end handed to him for about a full season now
    This is the exact reason why all this "Hicks isn't gonna make it" nonsense is nonsense. The guy hasn't even had a full season's worth of PAs, and people are already giving up on him completely, pining for the days of Clete Thomas and D. Mastro. Seems silly to me to give up on what was supposed to be a prospect, after less than a season. Especially when the team is as bad as it is.

  16. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beezer07 View Post
    This is the exact reason why all this "Hicks isn't gonna make it" nonsense is nonsense. The guy hasn't even had a full season's worth of PAs, and people are already giving up on him completely, pining for the days of Clete Thomas and D. Mastro. Seems silly to me to give up on what was supposed to be a prospect, after less than a season. Especially when the team is as bad as it is.
    And this meme is old too. I've seen very few people "give up on him". I've seen the vast majority of people say "Time to go to AAA for a bit".

    These are not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

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  18. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    And this meme is old too. I've seen very few people "give up on him". I've seen the vast majority of people say "Time to go to AAA for a bit".

    These are not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.
    Is there one Twins fan in the entire world pining for the days of Clete Thomas?

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  20. #95
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    It isn't clear:

    A: that Hicks is going to learn how to play MLB better at AAA and,

    B: that there really is a legitimate replacement in CF that will lead to winning more games right now for the Twins.

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  22. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    It isn't clear:

    A: that Hicks is going to learn how to play MLB better at AAA and,

    B: that there really is a legitimate replacement in CF that will lead to winning more games right now for the Twins.
    Would you like to call up Kohl Stewart and let him learn at the major league level?

    I would imagine your answer is no. Answer A with the same logic.

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  24. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    It isn't clear:

    A: that Hicks is going to learn how to play MLB better at AAA and,

    B: that there really is a legitimate replacement in CF that will lead to winning more games right now for the Twins.
    We've finally got most everyone on the same page, even Antony and Gardy, as they both now agree with their critics, that it's pretty clear that Hicks needs to go to AAA to learn and prepare how to play MLB better, particularly now as he's unilaterally announced that he's a right-hand only batter. The only thing currently stopping them from executing that plan is their own shortsightedness- leading to their extreme shorthandedness in CF.

  25. #98
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    Just an aside:

    many, many months ago I got a bit smacked around for claiming that switching to RH only would be a big, big learning issue . . . and now most seem to agree with that view.

    TD is funny sometimes.

  26. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    Just an aside:

    many, many months ago I got a bit smacked around for claiming that switching to RH only would be a big, big learning issue . . . and now most seem to agree with that view.

    TD is funny sometimes.
    Let's round up the usual suspects.....

  27. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Let's round up the usual suspects.....
    I don't mean to do that. I just think it is funny. And now I care little enough about the difference in production (potentially) that I find myself on the other side. And Hicks has been improving offensively over the past two weeks.

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