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Hicks' First 10 Games

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#41 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:21 AM

If I recall correctly, Hicks has been a slow adjust in almost every level of the minors. If he really is the defensive player he was billed to be, he'll have plenty of time to see if the bat catches up. I'm hopeful we see a Trevor Plouffe-like development arc....without the throws into the first base dugout. 

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#42 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:22 AM

 

I'm all for giving prospects more chances, and not relying on terrible veterans, that should be obvious from my time here.

 

Can we retire the "every prospect might turn out to be David Ortiz" meme ever? At some point, you move on. Sometimes they become great players (not often), usually they turn out to be what they showed they are.

You mean like Brian Dozier showed himself to be one of the worst players in MLB over his first ~450 PAs?

 

Players don't develop at the same pace, Mike. Less than 600 PAs spread over three seasons isn't enough time to evaluate a player, particularly one that has been jerked around as much as Hicks.

 

And David Ortiz is not an isolated case. He's not even a good comparison to Hicks because Ortiz was actually pretty good in a Twins uniform, or at least not terrible for a DH.

 

On the other hand, Carlos Gomez had an OPS+ of 72 over his first 1400 plate appearances. Baseball history is littered with All-Star players who were awful for several seasons before breaking out and becoming a star. Hell, the Twins have two players who had one foot on a bus out of town and are now 3-5 WAR players because of patience. If anything, Twins fans should be more patient with struggling prospects because they've seen it pan out so successfully in the past few years.

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#43 drivlikejehu

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:29 AM

I also think Hicks is worth some additional patience. The big thing for me is that I don't see any real physical weakness at the plate that will prevent him from improving. He has a good batting eye, bat speed, and raw power (albeit in all respects more so from the right side).

 

Not that his struggles should be discounted, but league-wide offense has declined to the point where he doesn't need to put up huge numbers to have value.

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#44 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:33 AM

Gomez played elite D and ran greatly from the start. Gomez had those ABs at MUCH younger ages. Gomez was better at 23, similar on offense at 24, and MUCH better at 25 (so far).

 

I'm not saying it is impossible that Hicks will be good. I'm saying that with all the guys behind him in the minors, I don't think he ever gets to 1000 ABs with this organization.

 

And, I am predicting he doesn't turn into Carlos Gomez, or David Ortiz, or any other AS that people can name. MOST players don't turn out that way, most are AAA or AAAA or replacement level (if they even get that far).

 

If Sano was tearing up AA, while Plouffe was struggling, he would probably not have gotten a chance to turn out well with MN either. And, while that would be a bummer.......sometimes you have to move on.

There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#45 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:33 AM

 

I also think Hicks is worth some additional patience. The big thing for me is that I don't see any real physical weakness at the plate that will prevent him from improving. He has a good batting eye, bat speed, and raw power (albeit in all respects more so from the right side).

 

Not that his struggles should be discounted, but league-wide offense has declined to the point where he doesn't need to put up huge numbers to have value.

Yep. It's not as if he needs to OPS at .750 to have value. In today's game, a good defensive CF can OPS at .680 and still be a quality player.

 

Not to mention that now is not the time to give up on Hicks. He looks different defensively this season. He's altering his approach to become more aggressive at the plate. In short, he's trying new things. That means he's listening to coaches and he realizes his weaknesses. As you said, there's nothing physically holding back Hicks from becoming a success and the small steps he has shown this season give me more hope for the kid than I've had at any time since early 2013, box scores be damned. Right now, I care about his approach, not the results.

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#46 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:36 AM

Who here said give up on him?

There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#47 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:40 AM

 

Gomez played elite D and ran greatly from the start. Gomez had those ABs at MUCH younger ages. Gomez was better at 23, similar on offense at 24, and MUCH better at 25 (so far).

Trevor Plouffe didn't become a good player until age 28. Lots of players don't emerge until their mid- to late 20s and Aaron Hicks is all of 25 years old this year. Gomez didn't become an above average hitter until he was 26 years old. He didn't become a good hitter until he was 27.

 

It's possible, maybe even likely, that Aaron Hicks is a bust. But given that he's not blocking anyone right now and the only other guy competing for a spot is even younger and more unprepared than Hicks (Rosario), he deserves to get daily starts until Buxton arrives and then he deserves to get spot starts around the outfield until he proves he can't hit.

 

I just can't understand how people scream "PLAY THE KIDS" over and over again but then try to kick those same kids to the curb the moment they struggle. This is part of the rebuilding process and we need to be patient. Not all guys develop at the same pace and sometimes, you need to clench your jaw and just wait it out.


#48 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:44 AM

Again, who here is saying not to play him? Not me......keep playing him until you decide you want to call up Buxton.

 

I don't read one person saying that time is now. No one. You are arguing against, um, I'm not sure, Brock.

There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#49 twinsnorth49

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 07:57 AM

 

Again, who here is saying not to play him? Not me......keep playing him until you decide you want to call up Buxton.

 

I don't read one person saying that time is now. No one. You are arguing against, um, I'm not sure, Brock.

Maybe not in so many words Mike, but in at least two of your posts you suggest at some point you have to move on. Is it such a huge stretch here that people might be assuming you're saying to do that? I don't think so.

 

I think people tend to forget how much Hicks has been played with like a yo you by the club. He's was put in a position I don't believe he was ready for, not once but twice, and to top it off borderline shamed for not succeeding as some in the FO expected. His desperate attempt to give up switch hitting in order to be more effective was a pretty good indication of just how messed up his head was at that point.

 

I think his approach lately will net some results, he looks a bit different to me as well. If Buxton was not on the horizon I think Hicks could quite easily turn into a very good CF for the Twins based on his defense and a decent uptick at the plate. He doesn't need to be Carlos Gomez., or  David Ortiz. The biggest impediment is of course Buxton and that leaves Hicks as potentially a corner OF or a 4th OF and I can't envison his bat ever being good enough for that.

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#50 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 08:00 AM

Maybe, instead of reading things that aren't in my posts.....just take them at face value. I have not called for Hicks to be benched. I have not called for him to be traded. None of that has been posted at all.

There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#51 TheDean

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 04:16 PM

 

Yeah that last part was the biggest problem though. The team has a lot of Hicks/Parmelee type prospects. Having too many might not be the best thing as few will get consistancy looks. Parmelee couldn't get constant playing time even though the team was awful and had very few options for the future.

How the hell are guys like Rosario, Arcia, Harrison and Kepler going to get 500 at bats in a season to evaluate their capabilities? You can't yo-yo these guys around for three years and expect something to click when they aren't getting everyday playing time at the MLB level to work on their flaws.

 

Exactly why I thought it was an interesting comparison. Their arcs have been closely matched thusfar in a number of domains: trips to the minors and back, age/performance, etc. Their differences mainly are in defensive ability and value relative to their offensive output, and of course their age. Hicks should have a chance here to depart from the Parmelee-an trips up and down with this exceedingly weak OF on a team that's actually in contention. He's actually the best play there.

 

It's certainly frustrating that it appears a prospect needs to go on BABIP-fueled binge for about half a season a-la Santana to deserve at bats. Reminder: Hicks's dismal SSS OBP (.261 right now) is still higher than Danny's or Schafer's, his primary replacements late season last year.

 

I need to see more of Hicks, and I actually think it's time for Santana to spend some time back in AAA. Similar to Hicks going into this year, he has yet to "master" that level. He's had almost 600 continuous PAs at the ML-level (in contrast to Parmelee or Hicks) and has yet to display plate discipline. .253 is an unacceptable OBP, and he even has a .324 BABIP, so it's not as if he's unlucky.

 

I'm rambling a bit, but my takeaway is that sometimes trips to AAA are good (Hicks needed one sooner when he had his first callup to the bigs, Santana might need one now). Sometimes they're bad (like Parmelee's yo-yoing and Hicks's, to some extent). In any case, I disaree with strawman who thinks the Twins should cut Hicks from the team right now because of reasons I can't fathom, such is the nature of strawmen.


#52 spinowner

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 08:44 PM

 

I just can't understand how people scream "PLAY THE KIDS" over and over again but then try to kick those same kids to the curb the moment they struggle. This is part of the rebuilding process and we need to be patient. Not all guys develop at the same pace and sometimes, you need to clench your jaw and just wait it out.

Bingo. Becoming a good player in baseball is two steps forward, one step back. Or maybe more like twenty-two steps forward, twenty-one steps back. For all but the most exceptional players it takes work, repetition, determination, repetition, patience, repetition, a positive attitude, repetition, etc.




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