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Thread: Article: The Mysterious Lost Season of Aaron Hicks

  1. #21
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    He's jason tyner. He's a low ceiling 4th outfielder. Mediocrity.
    Presley is a much better player than Tyner ever was.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
    Thank you for proving my point futher
    The point was both could easily hold a spot for a month or two and certainly wouldn't have been worse than Hicks. They also could have signed someone -- they had the money to do so. In the end, they went with a combination of Thomas and, sometimes, Wilkin Ramirez. Definitely not a winning combination but it was better than Hicks and had they not locked themselves into Hicks, they certainly could have had better options.

    If you still think that calling Hicks up was the right move over that, I'm not sure what to tell you.
    Last edited by Alex; 09-15-2013 at 08:55 PM.

  3. #23
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    One of the major complaints of most fans is prospects are moved too slowly. I thought it was great they threw caution to the wind and gave him a chance. Hicks and not incidentally Gibson, have merely used up one of their nine lives. Nothing has been permanently decided. For what it's worth, BA predicted Hicks would be the opening day centerfielder in 2012.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    The point was both could easily hold a spot for a month or two and certainly wouldn't have been worse than Hicks. They also could have signed someone -- they had the money to do so. In the end, they went with a combination of Thomas and, sometimes, Wilkin Ramirez. Definitely not a winning combination but it was better than Hicks and had they not locked themselves into Hicks, they certainly could have had better options.

    If you still think that calling Hicks up was the right move over that, I'm not sure what to tell you.
    Please find me anyone, ANYONE who was clamoring for Thomas, Richardson or Ramirez to start in CF over Hicks right after spring training. Yes, people were of the opinion that we shouldn't start Hicks arb time and yes they wanted him to win the job in spring training (and he did). My point is that their decision was easy from their (the FO) point of view. They weren't going to sign a free agent CF and the nobody considered the above players (was Richardson even with the organization then?) a option. Maybe they *should* have, but they were not.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
    One of the major complaints of most fans is prospects are moved too slowly. I thought it was great they threw caution to the wind and gave him a chance. Hicks and not incidentally Gibson, have merely used up one of their nine lives. Nothing has been permanently decided. For what it's worth, BA predicted Hicks would be the opening day centerfielder in 2012.
    We aren't talking about a prospect that was tearing up every level he'd been at. Even the season after his promotion was good, not dominating. As for BA, predicting who would be the opening day CF and what the Twins should have done are two different things. I think most people understood, the way the the front office was putting out information and talking about Hicks, even before spring training, that he was the front-runner.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
    Please find me anyone, ANYONE who was clamoring for Thomas, Richardson or Ramirez to start in CF over Hicks right after spring training. Yes, people were of the opinion that we shouldn't start Hicks arb time and yes they wanted him to win the job in spring training (and he did). My point is that their decision was easy from their (the FO) point of view. They weren't going to sign a free agent CF and the nobody considered the above players (was Richardson even with the organization then?) a option. Maybe they *should* have, but they were not.
    We're talking about two different things then, what they would have done (and did do) and what they should have done and why we are talking over each other.

    I think most people, who didn't want Hicks to start in CF, would have preferred they put Mastro out there (prior to injury) or sign a filler, but I did hear Clete Thomas bantered around as a place holder. Then when Hicks struggled and continued to do so, Richardson could have been an option, but no, he wasn't mentioned as an option that I saw earlier.

    You're correct that from a front office POV, and how they make decisions, that Hicks was going to be the CF and that they weren't going to add anyone. Like I said in my post above, predicting the Twins choice is different than arguing it was the right one.
    Last edited by Alex; 09-15-2013 at 09:22 PM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
    With Mastro's injury and Benson's flame out the Twins had little choice. Easy to criticize now, but what choice did they have especially after his spring training performance?. Gardy is stubborn (one of his major faults) and is stuck on putting CF, SS, or 2nd in leadoff especially with Span and Reverre setting up the line up the years before. Gardy hated giving up Morneau, but getting a CF that can leadoff made him happy.
    That something as trivial as the mark that Presley will end up making for the entirety of his Twin career would "make Gardy happy" says volumes about the state of the the club. The Twins should have been working full-time on signing or trading for a legitimate back-up plan as a lead off hitter and center fielder from the day they moved Span and Revere. To have such critical aspects so important to a team's potential for success to both be manned by someone coming from AA, someone who has demonstrably struggled moving up just one level, and then having no legitimate, major-league-experience alternatives positioned as back-up when he inevitably faltered, is malfeasance. Both Gardy and Ryan were on record endorsing this very plan.

  8. #28
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
    One of the major complaints of most fans is prospects are moved too slowly. I thought it was great they threw caution to the wind and gave him a chance. Hicks and not incidentally Gibson, have merely used up one of their nine lives. Nothing has been permanently decided. For what it's worth, BA predicted Hicks would be the opening day centerfielder in 2012.
    They often have moved them slowly. This was demonstrably true through 2009, at least. This, I think, has more to do with the lower levels. The Twins seem to have the idea that AAA is pretty much a waste of time, which is the opposite end of the spectrum.

  9. #29
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Also, Hicks may have been fairly fine if he didn't have to start out him MLB career as the leadoff hitter. It demanded that he take more pitches and this was at a time when his pitch recognition and everything was obviously not going to be ready for such a position. So he took more strikes, got behind, and got in trouble.

  10. #30
    Bringing Hicks north was the right thing to do. It just didnt work. I still think he'll be a great player.

  11. #31
    Where they screwed up was:

    1. Batting him leadoff
    2. Not having a backup plan
    3. Not calling him up in Sept 2012 to get his feet wet.
    4. Not learning their lesson and making the same mistake with Sano this year.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    Where they screwed up was:

    1. Batting him leadoff
    2. Not having a backup plan
    3. Not calling him up in Sept 2012 to get his feet wet.
    4. Not learning their lesson and making the same mistake with Sano this year.
    Totally agree.

  13. #33
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    Where they screwed up was:

    1. Batting him leadoff
    2. Not having a backup plan
    3. Not calling him up in Sept 2012 to get his feet wet.
    4. Not learning their lesson and making the same mistake with Sano this year.
    Where they screwed up is starting him in the MLB. At this point, it is pretty clear he wasn't ready. I can't fathom how the excuse about batting lead-off is being agreed upon so readily. It is slightly more pressure, but the guy has been hitting leadoff his whole life, that is what is comfortable. His struggles were due to his poor contact rate (which the Twins already know about) and his terrible inability to switch hit.

    I'm not ready to say he'll be a great player. I hope he will. If he was hitting RH every AB I might say that, but at this point I'm not convinced he can switch hit well enough to even be an MLB starter, nonetheless a great player. As shown by his .650 OPS in AAA (albeit in 72 AB's), he isn't killing it there either.

    Patience is going to be a key with Hicks. He might take a few years of bouncing between Twins and AAA to finally get it. He should start learning LF or RF, as Buxton will start in AA next year and might push his way to the Twins by August.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  14. #34
    Gotta put his cannon arm in RF.

  15. #35
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    Gotta put his cannon arm in RF.
    I agree with you, but Gardy has gone on record saying Acria is a better RF than LF.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  16. #36
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    I thought he'd be a mediocre hitter, and great fielder. He was worse at both than I had hoped, and been led to believe. I think he can be good, but I have my doubts. I really don't know what to expect now. I think it is bunk that hitting him leadoff was too much pressure, but I suppose it is possible.
    Lighten up Francis....

  17. #37
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    Where they screwed up is starting him in the MLB. At this point, it is pretty clear he wasn't ready. I can't fathom how the excuse about batting lead-off is being agreed upon so readily. It is slightly more pressure, but the guy has been hitting leadoff his whole life, that is what is comfortable. His struggles were due to his poor contact rate (which the Twins already know about) and his terrible inability to switch hit.

    I'm not ready to say he'll be a great player. I hope he will. If he was hitting RH every AB I might say that, but at this point I'm not convinced he can switch hit well enough to even be an MLB starter, nonetheless a great player. As shown by his .650 OPS in AAA (albeit in 72 AB's), he isn't killing it there either.

    Patience is going to be a key with Hicks. He might take a few years of bouncing between Twins and AAA to finally get it. He should start learning LF or RF, as Buxton will start in AA next year and might push his way to the Twins by August.
    He had not been "batting leadoff" his whole life. Hicks has spent a LOT of time at other spots in the order in the minors. He took off last year at AA when it was clear he was ready to move up from 3-4-5 to leadoff.

    Do you disagree that batting elsewhere in the lineup would have afforded him the opportunity to be more aggressive? A lot of minor leaguers come up and are aggressive or get eaten up. It happened to Herrmann in 2012 at the end of the season when he was not aggressive.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I thought he'd be a mediocre hitter, and great fielder. He was worse at both than I had hoped, and been led to believe. I think he can be good, but I have my doubts. I really don't know what to expect now. I think it is bunk that hitting him leadoff was too much pressure, but I suppose it is possible.
    While I could understand that it adds some pressure, I don't think it's the difference in his season. Some mentioned that he changed his approach because he was batting leadoff, but he always took a lot of pitches (his high OBP was indicative of that)

    I read a scouting report on him (and I looked again and can't find it, maybe someone else knows the source) regarding his minor league time that a reason for his high strikeout rate was that he takes too many good pitches. He was getting himself into holes in the count and, at least there, iirc, the scout mentioned he was also taking a lot of borderline strikes and getting called out in an attempt to get the walk. So in the end, his greatest strength was also what was causing his K's. In the majors, that approach doesn't work as well because pitchers are more accurate and will throw you a strike until you can make them pay.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    He had not been "batting leadoff" his whole life. Hicks has spent a LOT of time at other spots in the order in the minors. He took off last year at AA when it was clear he was ready to move up from 3-4-5 to leadoff.

    Do you disagree that batting elsewhere in the lineup would have afforded him the opportunity to be more aggressive? A lot of minor leaguers come up and are aggressive or get eaten up. It happened to Herrmann in 2012 at the end of the season when he was not aggressive.
    See my above post. You may be right that he could have been more aggressive at another spot, but that was never really his approach.

    I'll agree, though, that -- regardless -- placing him in the leadoff spot was just one of many of the Twins blunders with him.

  20. #40
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    Yes, his track record is one of taking too many pitches. Well, doing that (and being forced to, as a leadoff hitter) and getting behind in counts when not nearly acclimated to major league pitching puts one at a disadvantage.

    Without looking up the stats myself:

    I wonder about Hicks' OPS on the first pitch.
    I wonder about Arcia's OPS down 0-1.
    I wonder about Pinto's OPS down 0-1 (even in limited PAs).

    I wonder about them because it seems that Hicks was jumping on first pitches and doing things when he got "hot" (or whatever). I wonder what Arcia's numbers would be like if forced to take a strike once or twice per game, and I wonder if my suspicion about Pinto is right so far--that he is just smacking the ball around regardless.

    Getting Hicks in 0-1 or 1-1 (if lucky) counts once or twice a game by design (as a leadoff hitter) when he has not had any chance to make adjustments (especially with those MLB off-speed out pitches) yet = much of the April debacle.

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