For most of the offseason, I advocated that the Twins address their outfield defense issues by acquiring a premium defender.The name I put forward was Peter Bourjos of the Cardinals.It turned out the Twins had a player comparable to Bourjos in their system--Aaron Hicks.
Hicks has been recalled for almost two weeks and has started every game in center.From what I have seen and read, his defense has been impeccable.I saw Hicks make a fine diving catch in left-center live on Friday and saw the his eighth inning diving catch on video late on Saturday.He has made several fine plays and few mistakes.
As a hitter, Hicks has eight hits in 37 at-bats with one double, one walk and ten strikeouts.This translates to an OPS of .480.This is a small sample size to be sure and one 4-4 day would lift his batting average to near .300.
In his two previous stints with the Twins, Hicks was passable in the field, but not outstanding.He made some nice catches, but took poor routes to some balls and was too hesitant on too many occasions.He seems to be playing center with confidence.Most observers think Hicks' hitting will come around as well.He seems more aggressive and he does have good strike zone judgement.I haven't seen him hit the ball hard often.
I remain hopeful that Hicks hits and fields well enough for somebody to want him as their center fielder.I remain extremely skeptical that Hicks can hit well enough to be a regular corner outfielder.I will say that the team has been better with Hicks in center field than Jordan Schafer.
Edited by stringer bell, 24 May 2015 - 12:31 AM.