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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:40 AM
Here's an idea: admit that the Twins really messed with him and his rather natural path of development . . . one damn level at a time, which isn't such a crazy idea! He was AAA prepared for major league baseball, and he probably would have been only around a .700 OPS with a full season at AAA.
I am going to expect a .700 OPS with the full season with the Twins in 2014.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:57 AM
......but this is a great example of being conservative, don't change anything, even if it isn't working.
I get that batting as a RH against RH pitchers is going to suck, but it likely won't be worse than what he is getting now.
Either that or have him pitch. And I'm not kidding.
The way he's going now he does not belong on a Major League roster. (and I really like the kid)
Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:11 AM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:31 AM
.... but that one time occurrence in his career (!) didn't warrant *skipping* a level. The Twins were patient with him, then they really weren't patient and jumped him a level.
No argument here, Shane, but a .447 OPS? He may need a full year of AAA. That wouldn't be all bad, maybe, but we should have a crowded outfield soon after that.
Absolutely agree that his history did not suggest that skipping a level would go well. But Joe Benson played poorly, Mastro got hurt and Hicks hit and fielded (in ST) like he was ready. Cannot fault the Twins for starting the year with him in CF.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:53 AM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:00 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:33 PM
Learning to hit right-handed pitching from the right side is going to be a major adjustment. Why on earth do we want Hicks going through a major adjustment in 2014? That's another guaranteed lost season for him, or at least half a season . . . if it even works out at all in any way that makes him better from the right side than the left side...
If it will happen (and should happen) will not be in 2014. It will be in a Caribbean Winter league, maybe supplemented with instructs and will continue in ST.
Since he is hitting RH anyways, there will be no mechanical adjustments, just learning how to pick up the ball off a RHP's hand. And this can be done in a batting cage. And as a matter of fact, he has already been hitting as a righty off righties during BP, when the next team starts a LHP. Not that huge of an adjustment.
I think that it is overdue in a lot of respects and I am surprised that the Twins (being such a LHB-rich team) did not make the switch earlier. But remember who the MiLB Director was...
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:43 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:49 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:30 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:37 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:54 PM
Learning to hit right-handed pitching from the right side is going to be a major adjustment. Why on earth do we want Hicks going through a major adjustment in 2014? That's another guaranteed lost season for him, or at least half a season
In my opinion, you're blowing the adjustment it would take way out of proportion. He'd instantly be better batting RH vs. righties than he is batting LH vs. righties now, I think.
Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:27 PM
I am in the minority here, clearly. Was his performance in AA in 2012 against righties just an aberration, then?
I'd hope not, but I think it's hard to conclude otherwise, looking at the last four years as a whole. Even in 2012 his Isolated Power was 100 points higher from the right side, so his strong numbers as a lefty were driven far more by plate discipline than authoritative hitting.
Would his plate discipline elude him if he switched to seeing most pitches from a completely different perspective? I guess that's a strong possibility, and the most compelling argument against such a move. But from what I've seen, I don't know that Hicks -- swinging left-handed in the vast majority of his at-bats -- is an MLB-caliber hitter, especially in a corner spot. I see much, much more potential in his righty swing.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:27 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:32 PM
From what I've read the average hitter loses about .050-.065 points of OPS when facing same-side pitching.
Anyone know what the average split gap is between righties vs. lefties and righties vs. righties? Wouldn't this be a baseline to see how far Hicks' numbers would fall from the right side?
That should mean that in ideal world where Hicks is adapted to rightie-only, his .713 MLB OPS against lefties would probably put him somewhere around .660, or 100 points higher than his .559 LHB OPS.