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Aaron Hicks quietly posting good numbers in New Britain

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#1 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:52 AM

Given his flirtation with giving up switch-hitting (and baffling return to it a few weeks later), I wanted to dig a bit further into his splits and see how he was holding up.

According to Minor League Central, he is indeed taking all his swings as a RHB in New Britain. Good news, for sure.

http://minorleaguece...tter&split=2014

His line drive rate is low and he's hitting a ton of balls on the ground but that OPS is promising.

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:17 AM

Good to see. Hopefully he gets to AAA sometime and learns to hit. His BB and K rates in the majors weren't horrible.

#3 TheLeviathan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

It's good he's having some success, I'd imagine it feels good and is mental boost. Still, what he does at NB isn't interesting to me. I need to see him in AAA doing it before I want him back.
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#4 spycake

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:59 AM

Agreed, good to see he is performing like a more normal ballplayer again.

Let him sustain this over a bit larger sample, maybe improve that groundball rate a bit , before promoting him to AAA.

#5 Willihammer

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:12 AM

His production is so heavily OBP driven. And that's good. But I would be more encouraged if he stockpiled more hits or if more of his hits went for extra bases. We already know that a walks-singles version of Hicks at NB only translates to a .600 batter in the Show.

#6 TRex

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:51 AM

According to Minor League Central, he is indeed taking all his swings as a RHB in New Britain. Good news, for sure.


But that graph suggests he has not taken ANY at bats vs. a right-handed pitcher as a left-handed batter, and we know that is not correct!

#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

His production is so heavily OBP driven. And that's good. But I would be more encouraged if he stockpiled more hits or if more of his hits went for extra bases. We already know that a walks-singles version of Hicks at NB only translates to a .600 batter in the Show.



As of this morning he has a respectable .281 average. I'll take it. We know he's got some power. I'd just prefer he improved that contact for the time being.

#8 cmb0252

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:39 PM

I'm afraid fans and the front office might give up on him too quick and he might become Gomez 2.0. Obviously he hasn't shown that he is a big leaguer but he still has the tools to be.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:05 PM

I'm afraid fans and the front office might give up on him too quick and he might become Gomez 2.0. Obviously he hasn't shown that he is a big leaguer but he still has the tools to be.


There are many that haven't given up on him and I'm sure the front office is among that group.

I thought Hicks was mis-handled but he's still only 24. There's plenty of time for him to get back on track.

#10 glunn

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:13 PM

I'm afraid fans and the front office might give up on him too quick and he might become Gomez 2.0. Obviously he hasn't shown that he is a big leaguer but he still has the tools to be.


I share your concern about missing out on Gomez 2.0.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:14 PM

Right, you don't give up on him (like they have other young players), you send him to the minors to get better at his craft. I hope he succeeds, however he is hitting (L, R, SH, whatever).

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:15 PM

I don't think Gomez and Hicks are all that comparable in one big way. Hicks is what he is, they did not try to change him. Gomez, they tried to make into a certain mold that did not fit him. I don't get the sense that is what happened with Hicks so far. But then, I am not in the room, maybe they are.

#13 SDFan

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:23 PM

I have to think that simply restoring some confidence will do him a world of good. I would love to see the Aaron Hicks story with the Twins have a Part 2, where he turns into a great player for many years. Kind of like Perkins, who was pretty awful as a starter and also had some dust-ups with management, as I recall.

#14 DJL44

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

Looks like he's treading water. These numbers look like his production in New Britain in 2012.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:33 PM

I don't think Gomez and Hicks are all that comparable in one big way. Hicks is what he is, they did not try to change him. Gomez, they tried to make into a certain mold that did not fit him. I don't get the sense that is what happened with Hicks so far. But then, I am not in the room, maybe they are.


I don't think the Twins did anything wrong with Gomez outside of keeping him on the MLB roster instead of demoting him and letting him sort out his issues in the minors.

These are Gomez's seasons by age, team, OPS+.

21 - NYM - 55
22 - MIN - 77
23 - MIN - 65
24 - MIL - 76
25 - MIL - 82
26 - MIL - 101
27 - MIL - 129
28 - MIL - 138

That screams "rushed to the majors" and "typical development through to prime seasons".

Gomez always had oodles of talent but the Mets rushed him and the Twins inexplicably continued the process before trading him to the Brewers. The guy just needed development time, that's all.
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#16 Oxtung

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:36 PM

I have to think that simply restoring some confidence will do him a world of good. I would love to see the Aaron Hicks story with the Twins have a Part 2, where he turns into a great player for many years. Kind of like Perkins, who was pretty awful as a starter and also had some dust-ups with management, as I recall.


Should we send Hicks a link to a Fangraphs article about strikeouts being bad (for a hitter)? Perhaps about the relationship between LD%, BABIP and batting average? ;)

#17 ashburyjohn

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

Looks like he's treading water. These numbers look like his production in New Britain in 2012.


Just from the numbers, I'd agree. But if it's correct that he's taking all his swings from the right-hand side, then a "one step backward in order to take two steps forward" process is at least promising, if the step backward is only this small. No guarantee the two steps forward will happen, but there's a chance.

#18 JB_Iowa

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:52 PM

Looks like he's treading water. These numbers look like his production in New Britain in 2012.


They do until you take into account that he started pretty slowly when he was first sent down. They don't put splits on baseball reference for minor leagues (that I can find anyway) but just from paying attention to what the sportswriters have been saying, it seems to me that there has been a nice improvement over the last week or two.

I think we have to see where this trends before concluding that he is just "treading water".

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:53 PM

Gomez has been very explicit in stating the Twins wanted him to approach at bats one way, and when the Breweres told him he was free to do it another way, that's when he got good. Ortiz has said it too, as you know. That's what I was referring to. It is certainly possible that isn't true, that he's wrong. That he's hitting better because he is more experienced now. It is alos possible that he's right, that when he was freed up to be Gomez, and not something he wasn't, that he got good.

I was not commenting at all on the rest of Gomez, just that one part. That one part is what is not comparable. Other parts of their story, sure, comparable. Maybe I could have typed that first sentence more clearly.

#20 DaveW

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

I don't think the Twins did anything wrong with Gomez outside of keeping him on the MLB roster instead of demoting him and letting him sort out his issues in the minors.

These are Gomez's seasons by age, team, OPS+.

21 - NYM - 55
22 - MIN - 77
23 - MIN - 65
24 - MIL - 76
25 - MIL - 82
26 - MIL - 101
27 - MIL - 129
28 - MIL - 138

That screams "rushed to the majors" and "typical development through to prime seasons".

Gomez always had oodles of talent but the Mets rushed him and the Twins inexplicably continued the process before trading him to the Brewers. The guy just needed development time, that's all.


Agreed, the Mets screwed him over big time and the Twins were a playoff team those early years Gomez was here, so the Twins were in win now mode which meant putting out their best roster each day. As bad as Gomez was hitting wise, nobody doubted the defense he had.

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