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Thread: Article: The Mysterious Lost Season of Aaron Hicks

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    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.
    But they were not blunders. Hunter, Morneau, and Cuddyer all had missteps when they first came to the bigs. I for one have no problem, when one of our top prospects has absolutely no one in front of them, and our FO takes a calculated risk. Hicks and for that matter Gibson and Arcia, are just that much more ready when their next shot comes.

  2. #42
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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.
    Way before way before Hicks flopped or Mastro got hurt, the mistake of not having a realistic MLB-capable CF alternative in the organization was discussed in spring training threads. And it didn't have to do with service time for Hicks, it had to do with the fact that Hicks was likely to struggle and very possibly be overmatched.

    The front office blew it, and it didn't take a crystal ball to see it coming.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
    But they were not blunders. Hunter, Morneau, and Cuddyer all had missteps when they first came to the bigs. I for one have no problem, when one of our top prospects has absolutely no one in front of them, and our FO takes a calculated risk. Hicks and for that matter Gibson and Arcia, are just that much more ready when their next shot comes.
    We'll see, but let's see if those examples compare. Were any of those players called up mid-season and had as long a run of difficulty as Hicks before being sent down, not to mention skip a level of the minors?

    Morneau was called up in June. Had a 115 PAs of .665 OPS before having success the following season.

    Cuddyer was a Sept. callup and had just 20 PAs where he struggled. The following season .740 OPS in around 100 PAs and posted just under 100 OPS+ for the next few seasons in limited ABs before really coming into his own.

    Hunter made it 20 PAs in April 1998 of OPS+ of 60. He struggled his first two seasons with OPS+ of 73 and 80 before taking off.

    Sure all of them struggled in their first appearance and were even below average for a couple hundered at-bats, but none of them were as historically awful or as bad for as long as Hicks was. (OPS+ of 63 and a sub .600 OPS).

    Gibson and Arcia weren't thrust into the starting lineup day and both spent time at AAA. Gibson's stint was incredibly short, 10 games. Arcia has actually been one of the better hitters on the team.

    Honestly, there's no comparison between any of these players and what the front office expected from and thrust Hicks into. They are absolutely blunders both for the team and him: calling him up when he wasn't even close, leading him off, not getting a major league player who could handle the position, and keeping him up for so long.

    If even these, so clearly mistakes by the FO (remember they said he was READY and put him in the leadoff spot), aren't recognized as such, I really don't see the point of continuing this discussion. I mean, I recognize that there might have been reason to support the FO to start -- that I think is a tenable position even if I disagree with it, but based on the results I don't understand how the move can be defended as the right one.
    Last edited by Alex; 09-16-2013 at 05:26 PM.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
    But they were not blunders. Hunter, Morneau, and Cuddyer all had missteps when they first came to the bigs. I for one have no problem, when one of our top prospects has absolutely no one in front of them, and our FO takes a calculated risk. Hicks and for that matter Gibson and Arcia, are just that much more ready when their next shot comes.
    Interesting examples. Here's their final steps toward the majors.

    Morneau: Full season of AA bookended by shorter stints there. 300 PA's in AAA.

    Hunter: Most of 2 seasons in AA, 17 premature MLB at bats, followed by time in AAA and AA.

    Cuddyer: Two seasons and >1000 PA's in AA, 18 Sept. callup AB's in the majors. Half a season in AAA before he sniffed the bigs again.

    So none of them really skipped AAA. And none of them regularly exceeded a K rate of 20% throughout the minors like Hicks.

    It's usually a pretty bad idea to ask a ballplayer to keep doing something he can't do. And that's what the Twins were doing by letting Hicks continue to flail against major league pitching, for three months after it was clear he wasn't ready.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 09-16-2013 at 05:41 PM.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    I agree with you, but Gardy has gone on record saying Acria is a better RF than LF.
    But that's really a distinction without a difference though, isn't it?
    Last edited by jokin; 09-16-2013 at 06:40 PM.

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