Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Is Sam Fuld Aaron Hicks' downfall?

aaron hicks center field sam fuld twins
  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#21 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 24,304 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 03:29 PM

Who goes down when Willingham is healthy?

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.

#22 LaBombo


    "Grab a bat, punk!"

  • Members
  • 6,883 posts
  • Location...in a galaxy far, far away...

Posted 24 April 2014 - 03:39 PM

If Presley wasn't brought to the Twins to compete with Hicks for the starting job, he certainly was brought in with the appearance of competing with him. Just turned 28, acquired via the trade of a popular veteran, and less than two years removed from a half season in which he played at a WAR rate that projected to 2.5 or so over a full season.

Fuld is the kind of guy you bring in when you want everyone to understand that he's the backup and not the long-term answer: a 32 year old career journeyman reserve acquired for nothing. That doesn't make him a bad signing, it just means he has no business displacing Hicks because he struggles for a month or two.

If Hicks is still floundering at the plate in June, he may need to go back to AAA, but because the Twins feel it's the best place for him to work things out, not because Fuld is a better player.

Edited by LaBombo, 24 April 2014 - 03:45 PM.

#23 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    Minnesota Twins

  • Members
  • 8,042 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

Who goes down when Willingham is healthy?

Ideally.. Willingham?

Similar to what happened after Bartlett got healthy? We'll see.

#24 Reider


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 602 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:19 PM

The only person that decides Aaron Hicks' destiny is Aaron Hicks. Sam Fuld is good defensively and seems to be a better hitter than Mastroianni, so he's a nice compliment to our other out fielders.

#25 DocBauer


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,873 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:15 PM

They need two center fielders. They make good platoon partners. Hicks needs days to just work on his swing in extra BP and otherwise watch and learn from the bench. Most young guys do. He hasn't had that all year. Yesterday was his first opportunity to work with Bruno 1X1.

And it's kind of deja vu all over again from last year, when they exacerbated his struggles by forcing him to play everyday without any extra work for the first month+. Last year, they didn't have a choice because Mastro broke his leg in the last game of spring training. This year, they could have easily avoided it if they'd hung onto Presley instead of Bartlett...

At least they righted that wrong by getting Fuld. His presence will help Hicks.

This. Absolutely this.

Even though Fuld is 4 years older than Presley, it's still hard for me to bash his cutting due to what just seemed to be an atrocious ST. However, while it was fun to root for Barlett initially, keeping him over anyone was a mistake. And they indeed rectified any mistake made. They got less of a hitter, but a better base stealer, and reportedly a little better overall defensive OF by reports.

But Hicks is not threatened at this time. He's not only the best defensive CF we have, which is always important, but especially right now as we need him to cover a little extra ground. He's also young and filled with potential. And I believe the Twins staff and I see the same thing: a kid who worked hard this off season and through ST, and who doesn't appear as lost as he did last season. He's still not hitting or producing like anyone wants, or the Twins need, but he's taking AB's with a better plan and more patience this year.

I don't have his stats handy from the same time last year, but I don't believe he was hitting .182, and quite sure he didn't have on OB 131 points higher. He's always shown the ability to have a decent OB. I'm not saying he's guaranteed to have one that much higher, but consider him improving (as he started to last season before injury) to .240-.250 Avg with some power and speed over the next few weeks, getting a rest once in a while.

The Fuld claim was a good one. And hats off to the Twins for not being so complacent this season and for working to upgrade the roster on a continuous basis.

#26 DocBauer


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,873 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

Sam Fuld is not a good offensive player. In no way, shape, or form should any young talented player be threatened by him. It will be nice to have a late-game OF of Fuld-Hicks-Herrmann at times though.

I like this observation very much.

Im a big fan and proponent of Herrmann. People don't realize what a good overall athlete he is. And despite being relatively new to being a C, a couple years ago he was ranked as the Twins best defensive C in milb. He played 3B and 1B in college as well as OF, including some CF, even in the lower minors. I think his biggest problem is not having had the time to progress naturally through the system. If you look at his track history, he's shown ability but probably moved a little quickly. I'm not saying he's star material. I'm saying he has potential as a solid, useful utility player. And while I don't think we need a 3rd C, it does offer flexibility. Especially in Gardy's mind, which allows Pinto that many more opportunities.

#27 Deduno Abides

Deduno Abides

    Rochester Plates

  • Members
  • 1,781 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:25 PM

If Hicks is still floundering at the plate in June, he may need to go back to AAA, but because the Twins feel it's the best place for him to work things out, not because Fuld is a better player.

Hicks is clearly an exceptional athlete who is trying to be a good player. Contrary to general guidance, it may be better for him to try to be more of an athlete and less of a player; i.e., just go up there and rip. He seems like he's trying to follow the Twins way of taking pitches and hitting it around, but it's not working for him. I bet that 25 teams would be happy to have him for the price at which the team gave away David Ortiz and Carlos Gomez, and then they'd tell him to just swing away, like those players did when they left the Twins. I'm surprised the Twins don't do this. With the exception of today's homer (note that he swung at a pitch way out of the strike zone, which he would typically lay off), what he's generally done this year and last year isn't working. Telling him to go up and rip would simplify the game for him. At the rate he's going, he's going to be a low value player, so what's to lose by changing his approach to become more aggressive?

Btw, Fuld is a good pick-up as a fourth OF.

#28 twinscowboysbulls


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 624 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:18 PM

Soon we will look like this:
Regular vs RHP
2B Dozierzy
1B Mauerzy
3B plouffezy
DH Collabellzy
RF Arciazy
LF kubelzy
C Suzukzy
CF Fuldzy
SS Florimonzy


Regular vs LHP
2B Dozier
1B Mauer
3B Plouffe
LF Willingham
DH Collabello
C Pinto
RF Arcia
CF Hicks
SS Escobar


#29 zchrz


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 496 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:56 PM

I think Hicks should have a very long leash, this is his year to prove his value. Fuld being around is nice depth and a good fit so they can platoon them a bit and give Hicks a break against some tougher pitchers to get him going.

I think the patience is a good sign, considering who is batting behind him most of the time pitchers are really going for the strikeout against Hicks and he is working counts and getting walks. He just needs to hit the mistakes like he did today with that laser homerun, batting lefty even.
"Professionalism - When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - Hunter S Thompson

#30 Shane Wahl

Shane Wahl

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6,019 posts

Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:28 PM

Hicks has always been slow to adapt. He was in way over his head last year. Looking at his development pattern, split time between AA and AAA last year would have been best. Now he is like a AAA player breaking in. Stay calm! The guy is getting back to his ways of having good plate discipline. Now he finally hit a bomb. It's going to take a bit, but by June he will be in stride.

And I still wish Willingham would have been traded at some point last year, even for a Miguel Sulbaran type (or two). Herrmann is likely the odd man out, but the versatility (and it's C versatility, which is important) is valuable and he will start hitting.

#31 Kirby_waved_at_me


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,141 posts

Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:31 AM

Willingham adds a wrinkle (or two) to the Twins Roster.
I agree that trading him at some point last year or in the offseason would have prevented a bit of the roster crunch the Twins seem to be facing at any moment.

I don't know that the Twins would have tried to sign Kubel if they didn't already have Willingham - they were sort of mutual insurance policies. "If Willingham gets hurt, we'll have Kubel" or "If Kubel is truly washed up, we'll have Willingham."

When Willingham is healthy, I think he is worth having in the lineup against lefties instead of Kubel - I think the ideal world would have a better defender in LF/RF and Willingham/Kubel/Colabello being one player that is a primary DH.

If any of these guys were good/great outfielders, it would be a pretty easy decision to take that guy over the rest.

I think the bigger crunch will be RF/DH - I suppose Arcia could be sent down to AAA so he gets to play everyday and Colabello can continue to ride his hot streak, but I would be a little surprised if the Twins did that. Pinto will deserve some of those DH at bats too.

I guess it's an ok problem to have too many guys that you want to be hitting in your lineup.

#32 Dman


    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,031 posts

Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:55 AM

Fuld has had an incredible first two games. If he could do that night in and night out then maybe Aaron would have to worry a little, but typically he is a low .200 hitter which is not any better than Hicks. Also Hicks can hit for power and has a canon arm. I realize Aaron's batting average is low but if you compare him to Revere who he replaced their OBP is nearly the same and Revere was our lead off man when he was here.

I am concerned about Hicks number of K's and how easy pitchers seem to be able to strike him out sometimes, so if he could just make a little more contact I think that would solve a lot of his problems. Easier said than done at that level though. I'm not ready to give up on him yet especially not for Sam Fuld.

#33 diehardtwinsfan


    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 11,761 posts
  • LocationThe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:42 AM

I still maintain that it would have been best for Hick's development to play in Rochester. He's hitting better than what he was last year, which is good, but I have a feeling he's going to put up less than stellar numbers and still end up there at one point.

#34 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    2 + 2 = 5

  • Members
  • 2,700 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:23 AM

Most, and I don't know what % it is, baseball people say a player needs 1000 at bats before you can really tell what you have. Hicks has less than 400 so give the guy the rest of the year. Can the Twins really afford to give up on the guy already when he is only 24?

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.


Yogi Berra

#35 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 24,304 posts

Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:25 AM

I don't see anyone saying to give up on him....but maybe I missed a post.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.

#36 ashburyjohn


    Haighters gonna Haight

  • Twins Mods
  • 17,517 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:26 AM

Most, and I don't know what % it is, baseball people say a player needs 1000 at bats before you can really tell what you have.

Tom Kelly is associated with that quote (no doubt there are others), and my understanding is that he would say it when discussing some phenom with good early stats who hadn't yet gotten a full season of pitcher-batter-pitcher-batter adjustments under his belt. The converse that you have to let a questionable bat get 1000 PA was not meant as a corollary, again as I understand the quote.

That said, I do want Hicks to get his 1000 PA.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 25 April 2014 - 11:28 AM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: aaron hicks, center field, sam fuld, twins