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Hicks' First 10 Games

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 12:30 AM

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.

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#2 TheLeviathan

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:37 AM

The bat hasn't been there, but the defense is night and day better so far.

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#3 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:53 AM

It's encouraging to see that his BA has stayed above the Mendoza line. He was probably a bit too selective the last couple seasons. That said, he's probably gone a bit too far in the other direction and needs to lay off some pitches. .480 OPS is really bad. I'm encouraged in that he's getting more contact, and yes, I get the SSS caveats. I really hope he can turn into a decent major leaguer. That would be quite benefical to this club.
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#4 spinowner

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 06:14 AM

Didn't see either game but caught most of both on the radio. The White Sox guys commented that he took good routes on both his highlight-reel catches. I continue to hope that his offensive production (by whatever measure) is enough to justify his presence on the team. And I think to say that there's a point where his offense is good enough for a CF but not good enough for a corner OF is probably overanalyzing. If he's the best RF in the organization after Buxton comes up then put him there and hope for the best.

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#5 HitInAPinch

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 06:38 AM

 


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. 

 

With the makeup of the Twins, I don't know if stellar defense will outweigh the need for major league average hitting at any position.

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It's not my fault !


#6 Brandon Warne

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 07:27 AM

Yeah for me he probably starts in CF, bats eighth or ninth and plays every day from here on out. Re-evaluate then, because you'll either need a new starting RF (my guess) or a fourth outfielder -- both roles he can easily fill.

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#7 jorgenswest

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:19 AM

Evaluate at the all star break and until then don't look at the stats. Certainly don't report them until his sample size is around 120 plate appearances.

If he is hitting poorly at the all star break, they need to see how he does in a 4th OF/platoon role. Start him against every lefty. A fourth OF with good defense that can hit lefties is valuable to every team.
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#8 Einstein1

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:32 AM

He has been an upgrade from Jordan Schafer.  

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#9 twinsnorth49

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:47 AM

He has been an upgrade from Jordan Schafer.


That shouldn't be the bar.
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#10 twinsnorth49

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:54 AM

Didn't see either game but caught most of both on the radio. The White Sox guys commented that he took good routes on both his highlight-reel catches. I continue to hope that his offensive production (by whatever measure) is enough to justify his presence on the team. And I think to say that there's a point where his offense is good enough for a CF but not good enough for a corner OF is probably overanalyzing. If he's the best RF in the organization after Buxton comes up then put him there and hope for the best.


Saying a guys offense might be good enough for CF but not for a corner spot is not over analyzing. No way his defense in those spots is going to make up enough for a. 480 OPS.
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#11 stringer bell

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:58 AM

Side note on this:Buxton is heating up again in Chattanooga, but it is my opinion that this year, his major contribution to the team this year would be speed and defense.If Hicks is playing plus defense in center, the amount of upgrade Buxton would provide would be limited.

 

I think Hicks offense wouldn't be able to hit the .700 plateau with a larger sample size.I don't think that is enough to play every day on a corner.I have said for over a year that the goal should be for Hicks to play well enough to have trade value.I still believe that. 

 

 

Edited by stringer bell, 24 May 2015 - 09:03 AM.

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#12 birdwatcher

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:17 AM

 

That shouldn't be the bar.

 

 

Not long term, but temporarily it's a good bar until Buxton shows up, probably yet this year. Buxton is the long term bar for CF.

Edited by birdwatcher, 24 May 2015 - 09:19 AM.

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#13 twinsnorth49

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:22 AM

Not long term, but temporarily it's a good bar until Buxton shows up, probably yet this year. Buxton is the long term bar for CF.


Of course he is, and that's a bar worth setting.

#14 gunnarthor

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:23 AM

Give him more time before we overly worry but his bat still doesn't look good and he's not Andruw Jones or even Torii Hunter out there in CF.He needs to hit a lot more than he has otherwise he's a AAAA player. 

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#15 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:40 AM

This is a large sample size: 

 

Hicks looks like a professional baseball player and runs, throws and swings like one.

 

We can quarrel with the results, but he is playing premium defense and will contribute in multiple ways over time.Like Escobar and Arcia, he needs to cut down on his swing and focus on solid contact, especially with two strikes.

 

But, point is:I feel a lot better watching a guy with a major league body and skills playing center field than a marionette with no upside.

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#16 Sconnie

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 10:08 AM

That shouldn't be the bar.

This is a large sample size:

Hicks looks like a professional baseball player and runs, throws and swings like one.

We can quarrel with the results, but he is playing premium defense and will contribute in multiple ways over time. Like Escobar and Arcia, he needs to cut down on his swing and focus on solid contact, especially with two strikes.

But, point is: I feel a lot better watching a guy with a major league body and skills playing center field than a marionette with no upside.

he used to watch strike three 4-5 times per game, and when he did swing it was weak, and when he did make contact it was weak. It's nice to see him become more authoritative in all facets of his game. With his improved emphasis on fielding, I can live with Hicks being only a slight improvement over Schafer/Robinson at the dish. He's been the best option at CF this season and I hope that the small sample size grows to a large one.

Edited by Sconnie, 24 May 2015 - 10:09 AM.


#17 Winston Smith

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 10:27 AM

 

That shouldn't be the bar.

True but that one is on Terry Ryan. Right now he is likely the best option that Ryan has given the coaching staff.

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

 

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#18 twinsnorth49

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 10:30 AM

True but that one is on Terry Ryan. Right now he is likely the best option that Ryan has given the coaching staff.


Agreed, I'm certainly not blaming Mollie.

#19 Gene Larkin

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 11:04 AM

So far Hicks hasn't driven in a single run and he has had a dozen at bats or so with runners in scoring position. If that doesn't improve considerably it won't matter how well he plays defense.

Edited by Gene Larkin, 24 May 2015 - 11:05 AM.


#20 lightfoot789

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 11:40 AM

I can see Buxton being called up for Playoff run as that defensive specialist and/or late inning base runner.  Dyson served that purpose for KC last year and was key to their run.  Hicks and Buxton and whoever in late inning games would be such a relief for those Bullpen guys.

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