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Aaron Hicks

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:08 AM

Hicks was the Twins 1st round pick in 2008, #14 overall. 6'2", 185 lbs, he's a toolsy OF whose stock had slipped the last few years. Baseball America ranked him # 39, 19 and 45 the first three years but didn't rank him in their top 100 after a somewhat disappointing 2011 season. BA still ranked him the Twins 4th best prospect. MLB's Jonathan Mayo was a bit higher on him, ranking him #72.

So far, his 2012 season has been very promising. Currently, he's hitting .276/.362/.534 with 4 doubles, 1 triple and 3 HR at AA. He has a respectable 9BB/15K and his defense is strong. He's always had some split problems, he's better against lefties, but he's showing improvement early this season against right handed pitchers. Two of his HR's came hitting left-handed and his patience at the plate has allowed him to get enough walks to erase the difference in BA between the two sides. It's early but Hicks might have the best combination of tools within the organization. If he posts a nearly .900 OPS at AA this season, he should fly back up the prospect rankings and give the Twins another ML ready OFer.

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:53 PM

John Sickels at minorleagueball took a question about Hicks today:

Q: Do you think this could be the year for him? Seems strange that a jump to AA could be the catalyst to a breakout. If he continues his early season success where do you think he’d rank overall in terms of prospects?


[h=5]A: it's a little early to conclude that, any sort of slump will push his SLG back down
The tools have always been here, and unlike some guys who struggle, he’s always made an effort to control the zone. I would say there is reason for cautious optimism, but I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions[/h]

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:03 PM

Hicks has cooled a bit, now hitting .260/.342/.433 and has added one HR since the last update. He continues to struggle against righties but has respectable isolate power and on-base skills against them. His krate and walk rates have both moved in the wrong direction but his power has also gone up so it's possible he's taking better hacks in hitters count, instead of passively taking walks. But it's still early, of course.

#4 glunn

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:36 PM

If Hicks can't make it as a hitter, would it be worth trying him as a pitcher? He threw 94 mph in high school, and he is older and possibly stronger now.

#5 gil4

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:41 PM

If Hicks can't make it as a hitter, would it be worth trying him as a pitcher? He threw 94 mph in high school, and he is older and possibly stronger now.


Maybe - if I remember right, many teams looked at him as a better prospect as a pitcher prior to the draft, but he preferred OF. I think he's going to make it as a hitter.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

He's hitting .278/.355/.444 with four doubles and four homers in his first four weeks of AA... That's pretty impressive!

#7 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:04 PM

Seth, Thanks for giving us die-hards something positive. It really looked like Hicks was a bust but now I'm starting to believe. What is wrong with Joe Benson and Liam Hendriks??

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:32 PM

It's hard to make too much about the numbers of Twins hitters in Beloit or Ft. Myers... for whatever reason, offensive numbers don't happen at those levels. Benson's struggling. He just needs to go on a streak. DOnt' give up on him quite yet. Nothing wrong with Hendriks. He was a level ahead of where he should have been (as is Parmelee). I expect Hendriks to take a couple of starts in Rochester to re-find himself and he'll be find again.

#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

If Hicks can't make it as a hitter, would it be worth trying him as a pitcher? He threw 94 mph in high school, and he is older and possibly stronger now.


I'd hate to give up on Hicks' offense possibility. Sure, he hasn't broken out yet but he's only 22. (He went 3-4 tonight with 2 stolen bases). He just needs at-bats. Some guys it'll take longer with but Hicks has a wonderful eye at the plate, which is usually the hardest thing to learn. Hunter and Span, our last two HS CF prospects were hitting worse at AA their age 22 seasons. Eventually, Hicks will get there (I hope).

#10 gunnarthor

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 12:10 PM

Well, might as well update this again. Sadly, Hicks has struggled the last few weeks and has dropped to .248/.327/.414 on the season. He continues to struggle against righties, although nearly all his walks come batting lefthanded. On the plus side, he went 3 for his last 7, with his 5th HR and his 7th double (he hit 5 HR all of last year). On the plus side, he's 10 for 13 in SB (4th in the EL). His isolated power and isolated walk (for lack of a better term) are good enough if his avg was just a little higher. I have no idea if he should give up trying to switch hit or if it'll just take more time for him to get there. In any event, he needs at bats. And, at the risk of sounding repetitive, it's worth remembering he's only 1 of 15 hitters in the EL that are 22 or younger (he's 7th in OPS of those 15). His progress is worth remembering when trying to guess how fast potential draft pick Buxton would fare. Buxton is a slightly better prospect coming out of high school but not that much better. Hicks was the 14th overall pick in a pretty loaded draft. Buxton might go #2 in a significantly weaker draft.

#11 PMKI

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:32 PM

I was just looking at a 2008 mock draft by Kevin Goldstein. In his little write-up about him he said that most teams liked him more as a pitcher than a player but he preferred to be an everyday hitter. I am just wondering did the Twins want him as a pitcher when drafting him and give-in to what he wanted or did they feel he was better as an everyday player? You have to wonder how he would be doing as a pitcher.

#12 jimbo92107

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:07 AM

Atlanta's Brandon Beachy was a third baseman converted to pitcher. Aaron Hicks might be able to do the same thing, for the same reason: His arm has relatively low mileage, and with professional coaching, they could make sure he doesn't wreck his arm throwing curves incorrectly. Take a guy as athletic as Hicks and teach him the right way to pitch, you might just have yourself a star.

#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:17 AM

I was just looking at a 2008 mock draft by Kevin Goldstein. In his little write-up about him he said that most teams liked him more as a pitcher than a player but he preferred to be an everyday hitter. I am just wondering did the Twins want him as a pitcher when drafting him and give-in to what he wanted or did they feel he was better as an everyday player? You have to wonder how he would be doing as a pitcher.


a lot of teams liked him as a pitcher, but the Twins liked him as a 5-tool outfielder. He may have gone earlier, but he let it be known that he did not want to pitchre.

#14 gunnarthor

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:08 AM

Hicks avg hasn't moved much the last few weeks although his OBP went up a little. He's now hitting .247/.347/.395 (the EL is hitting .256/.327/.378). He's added his 8th double and 6th home run but that's been it in extra base hits since 5/20. He's 15 for 20 on stolen bases (4th in the EL) and his walks have crept up and he now has 31 walks against 49 strike outs (he leads the EL in walks). His struggles batting left handed are continuing. I'm not sure how much longer the Twins should let him switch hit. Obviously, if he can do it, that's great but right now he's great against lefties (.866 OPS) and bad against righties (.692). I'm not sure if just making him hit right handed all the time would make him better against righties or not but it's got to be getting close to the point of trying it, I would think.

Generally, it's good to remember he's still just 22 and, as boring as it is, he probably just needs more time. Obviously, a lot of people are going to compare Hicks and Buxton as they both have the potential same tools although Buxton was (according to scouts) slightly more advanced than Hicks when drafted.

Here's an article about him from a few days ago: http://busleaguesbas...to-minneapolis/

#15 tcarlic

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:46 PM

What's up with Aaron? He hasn't played in about a week and can't find any information anywhere? Seth where are you!? hahaha

#16 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:58 PM

Hicks is injured. I will try to find out more. Not in the lineup tonight.
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#17 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

Hicks is out with a sprained ankle.

#18 tcarlic

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

Hicks is injured. I will try to find out more. Not in the lineup tonight.


Yeah he hasn't been in the lineup since the 8th or 9th... I've been listening to the Rock Cats game while at work and they didn't mention him when they did their injury report... hmmm

#19 gunnarthor

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:31 PM

Not a lot to report on Hicks. He missed 10 days with an injury but has played in the last three, going 4-13 w/a double and a triple. His stat line is still pretty much the same .248/.340/.378 with those that double and triple being the only new extra base hits since the last write-up.

#20 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:29 PM

A solid 8 game stretch for Hicks since coming back from the ankle injury on the 19th. 11/33 1 double 2 triples 1HR 4rbi 8k 3bb 1/2SBs for a .333/.378/.576 line. Overall .298/.389/.468 in 14gms this month w/1double 2triples HR 5RBi 10k 7bb 1/4SBs Now hitting .239/.344/.393 as a lefty w/ 163ABs 4HR 23RBI 46K 28bb......not horrendous.

#21 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:02 PM

Hicks finished June w/.309/.406/.455 1hr 7rbi 13k 9bb in 16gms despite missing 9gms with an ankle injury. vs RHP .246/.350/.395 in 167ABs vs LHP .299/.365/.463 in 67ABs

#22 gunnarthor

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 11:53 PM

Hicks has had a nice little run and is now hitting .261/.353/.415/ on the year. He has 10 2b, 3 triples and 7 homers. As greengoblin noted, he had a strong June and hopefully that carries over to July. Last year, Hicks posted an OPS over .900 in June and July before injuring his thumb, so maybe that continues.

#23 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 09:04 AM

His BA against RHP is slowly climbing. The fact that his OBP from the left side is only 15 points different than the right side tells me there is no reason to table his switch hitting asperations.

#24 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

Also very happy with the 18steals.....3 short of season high......2 yesterday leads me to believe the ankle is good

#25 gunnarthor

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 11:07 AM

His BA against RHP is slowly climbing. The fact that his OBP from the left side is only 15 points different than the right side tells me there is no reason to table his switch hitting asperations.


I'm not a 100% sure I agree on that premise, although that's not the same as disagreeing. He takes more walks but that might also be a symptom of taking too many hittable pitches. Scouts have said he looks too passive at the plate at times and I wonder if he's scared to swing and would rather walk when he's hitting from the left side.

#26 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:32 PM

Aaron tied his career high with his 8th HR Fri nite. His current .429 slgg would be his full season career best & he's 3 SBs away from his career best. Think he's goin under the radar for most fans. Is he finally reaching his potential?? His splits are getting closer to bein legit as against RHP he's not .251/.355/.402 vs LHP.300/.367/.488

#27 maxisagod

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:46 PM

If he's at his floor already (4th outfielder, pitch runner in the bigs) and his "most likely outcome" is a MLB regular, lets say low double digits in SB's and HR while play center. His all-star potential is still a possibility.

#28 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:44 PM

All Star break with Hicks finishing with a 3-4 w/bb & HR Since returning from ankle injury...21gms 29/83 .349/.426/.578 20runs 2doubles 4triples 3hr 11rbi 10bb 22k 2/5sb overall 78gms .275/.365/.446 51runs 10doubles 5triples 9HR 38rbi 41bb 72k 19/27sb's vs LHP 82ABs .305/.370/.488 vs RHP 194ABs .263/.364/.428 He is no doubt moving back into elite status as a prospect.....IMO pushing Sano for top spot if he keeps this up for next 7 wks

#29 gunnarthor

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:36 AM

All Star break with Hicks finishing with a 3-4 w/bb & HR
Since returning from ankle injury...21gms 29/83 .349/.426/.578 20runs 2doubles 4triples 3hr 11rbi 10bb 22k 2/5sb
overall 78gms .275/.365/.446 51runs 10doubles 5triples 9HR 38rbi 41bb 72k 19/27sb's
vs LHP 82ABs .305/.370/.488 vs RHP 194ABs .263/.364/.428
He is no doubt moving back into elite status as a prospect.....IMO pushing Sano for top spot if he keeps this up for next 7 wks


Adding to this, at the break the 22 year old Hicks is (among qualified leaders)

t-3rd in EL in triples (5)
t-5th in runs (51)
6th in stolen bases (19)
7th in walks (41)
13th in OBP (.365)
t-18th in HR (9)
23rd in total bases (123)
24th in slg (.446)

And keep in mind that many of the players ahead of him are 4-6 years older.

#30 mike wants wins

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

Really, many of the AA leaders ar 28? Wow, I had no idea. Hicks does appear to be improving during the year, that should always be the goal. I have moves from disappointed to slightly optimistic on him this year. The slg split is still high, but maybe it will close. I am als really happy with the stolen bases this year.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)