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Article: Position Battle: Starting Center Fielder

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:17 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...ing-Centerfield

#2 TC Stunner

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:44 PM

I think it should be Hicks in CF, Presley in LF and Arcia in RF and use Willingham as a DH only. They need his bat more than his mediocre fielding. Or Hicks in CF, Arcia in LF and Colabello, Parmelee or Ramirez in RF

#3 orangevening

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:07 AM

The bigger question maybe does Hicks starts with Twins or in AAA? They probably want him starting in AAA rather than backing up in majors.

#4 ND-Fan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:50 AM

My bet is we see Hicks start at triple A for the season. We won't see Buxton until September call up. If Hicks starts to handle Triple A or there is injury then we will see Hicks with the Twins.

#5 Dantes929

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:51 AM

If Hicks makes the Twins I don't think it will be as backup. I would say he needs to put up similar ST numbers to the ones he posted last year and then just hope he gets off to a better start in regular season. I also think Willingham is much better suited for DH but if Sano makes the team I can easily see a Plouffe, Kubel platoon at DH. I have a hard time getting excited about Pressley but if he can hit .283 and get on base a third of the time it would be a big improvement over Hicks start a year ago.

#6 Jdosen

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:54 AM

I hope they cut bait with Wilkin. I'm sure he's got *some* value to someone in the right role, but I don't like the idea of him taking away at bats from younger guys who may (however unlikely) have a role on the next winning team.

#7 TC Stunner

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:00 AM

If Hicks makes the Twins I don't think it will be as backup. I would say he needs to put up similar ST numbers to the ones he posted last year and then just hope he gets off to a better start in regular season. I also think Willingham is much better suited for DH but if Sano makes the team I can easily see a Plouffe, Kubel platoon at DH. I have a hard time getting excited about Pressley but if he can hit .283 and get on base a third of the time it would be a big improvement over Hicks start a year ago.


If Sano makes the team Id rather put Ploufe in the OF and have Willingham and Kubel DH. I don't want to see Willingham anywhere near the outfield. He's mediocre at best out there, he's getting up there in age and is injury prone. I still wish they traded Willingham after his killer first season with the Twins. He put up career numbers and his value was never gonna be higher.

#8 wagwan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:58 AM

Hicks has potential tools that Presley can't match. I think if he hadn't started out 1 - 50, things would have been much different. Let him play. He should be in the Twins outfield for the next decade. He is Ben Revere in the field but with a cannon arm.

#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:25 AM

The bigger question maybe does Hicks starts with Twins or in AAA? They probably want him starting in AAA rather than backing up in majors.


Absolutely. Hicks is still young enough and has a ton of potential that he needs to be playing. If I wasn't clear about that, I apologize.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:40 AM

Ask yourself the question I did above: What do you think Aaron Hicks needs to do, or needs to show, to be the starting centerfielder?


I think that the question that needs to be asked is: Who will give the Twins a better possibility to win if the starting Centerfielder?

To me Presley looks like a clone of the Thomases, Mastroiannis, Komatsus, Repkos, Pridies, Tyners et. al that Gardy and Terry for some reason like to have on the team so much, but in reality they are AAAA guys that should be used for PR and defense. Hicks can be special. In my mind there is no question who should start (or who will give the Twins the best probability of winning...)

They already do not have a bat at SS, looks like they might opt for not having one at C, if they don't have one at CF, we might be looking at another long season, despite the rotation improvement...
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#11 dakotanative

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:49 AM

I remember well the struggles Tori Hunter went through before he finally stuck in the show. Hicks ability to have good at bats deteriorated as he struggled with MLB Pitching. If I was the manager I would be looking for increased maturity as a hitter from him. I would also be looking for better routes being taken to the ball and be seeing fewer spectacular plays that are the result of poor fundamentals. Finally I would also be looking for him separating his hitting from his fielding. In other words not allowing mistakes to carry over from one part of his game to the other. If he does this and the Twins see him and Presley on the same field he will win the starting job. Hicks hitting .260 with a .320 OB and .410 slugging is more valuable than Presley.

#12 Blackjack

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:36 AM

[QUOTE;]What do you think Aaron Hicks needs to do, or needs to show, to be the starting centerfielder?[/QUOTE]

After the goose egg he laid last season I think he has to have a spring as good or better than last year AND Pressley would need to play poorly or get hurt if order for Hicks to be the starting centerfielder on opening day.

Let the natural progression take place. Let him go down to AAA and prove that he's ready, get some confidence, someone on the big league club will get hurt by May 15, bring him up then. Or by June 1 Parmalee or Ploufe or Willingham will prove that they have trade value or should be dumped, do it, and then bring Hicks up.

When he does come up, keep him out of the leadoff spot in the lineup, let him bat eighth, get some confidence that he CAN hit big league pitching. He proved last year that it’s a big jump to the big leagues, bring him along slower, let him get some confidence.

#13 Kwak

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:15 AM

There isn't any competition for the starting CF job--it's Presley. His only competition was Mastroianni--and he was DFA'd. Hicks--he goes to Rochester. I expect an early trip for Hicks to the minor league training camp. Hicks will spend months at Rochester--and maybe all year. It depends on the performances of Presley and Arcia as well as for Hicks. This year I expect to see veterans up-and-down the active roster--the youth "had better get after it"--or else its back to Rochester.

#14 stringer bell

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:47 AM

Presley is what he is, Mastroianni (if healthy) is what he is. They are both fourth OFs capable of playing center field. Hicks has the tools to be very good and earn a job as a center fielder somewhere. The performance was bad last year and all but guarantees him a trip to Rochester to start the season. I expect him up by Memorial Day and I hope he establishes himself to be a major league hitter and plus defender. Presley starts the season in center leading off, but is supplanted pretty early.

#15 ericchri

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:54 AM

I'm with Thrylos on this one, but I don't know if the Twins are. If they want to have any chance at being competitive this year, they need the matured version of Aaron Hicks. Presley's ceiling isn't high enough with the other holes in our lineup. His floor also isn't as low as Hicks's would appear to be, so I suspect they'll play it safe and go with Presley anyway.

Personally, I can understand the logic that he should start at AAA and earn his way up, but I'd rather see the team playing for the terrific future than playing for the mediocre now. I'd keep Hicks and Presley on the roster and cut ties with Mastro (and I say that as a fan of Mastro's from his 2012 season). Give Hicks all the starts against lefties, and maybe split the starts against righties between Hicks and Presley, but make sure that Hicks is getting playing time in the majors to start the season.

#16 Steve Lein

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:37 AM

I honestly don't even think it should be a competition. Give the job to Hicks and go. It took Torii Hunter playing with the MLB team a bunch before he ever figured out how to hit (never was much of a hitter anywhere in the minors until AAA when he already had 140+ MLB games under his belt). I think the same will play out here, as has been demonstrated by Hicks' path through the minors. It takes him some time to get accustomed to the pitching, then he's just fine.

All the other options are nothing but AAAA or bench 4th outfielders. To me, there is absolutely zero point to giving them the job on a team that is still going to be relatively bad, you're not gaining anything by doing so. Sure, they may put up a better batting line for a while, but there is no potential even close to what Hicks brings for the long term, which is where they should be looking.

I love the comment "I'd rather see the team playing for the terrific future than playing for the mediocre now." from above. I agree 100%.

#17 Willihammer

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:13 AM

I like competition. Add in Buxton breathing down everyone's neck and I think all 3 will bring their A game. Will be fun to watch play out.

#18 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

Mastro and Presley are 4th OF at best. However, one will open the season as the starting CF while we wait for Buxton. Put Hicks at Rochester and let him play every day (I would have him play RF cause that's where he will be playing in 2015 in Target Field.) If Hicks is doing well at Rochester around memorial day, bring him up but play him, don't let him get splinters from the pine. If he isn't doing well, give him the year at Rochester.

#19 halfchest

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:25 AM

I'll be surprised if Hicks doesn't stay in AAA at least until May/June. That said I'll be surprised if he's not up by July.

It's not like he's learned all he can there, in fact I would argue he has a lot to learn there. He dominated AA but has very little AAA experience. Hopefully it will do him some good to get a little success there and he can come up with a bit more confidence.

#20 Shane Wahl

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:31 AM

I honestly don't even think it should be a competition. Give the job to Hicks and go. It took Torii Hunter playing with the MLB team a bunch before he ever figured out how to hit (never was much of a hitter anywhere in the minors until AAA when he already had 140+ MLB games under his belt). I think the same will play out here, as has been demonstrated by Hicks' path through the minors. It takes him some time to get accustomed to the pitching, then he's just fine.

All the other options are nothing but AAAA or bench 4th outfielders. To me, there is absolutely zero point to giving them the job on a team that is still going to be relatively bad, you're not gaining anything by doing so. Sure, they may put up a better batting line for a while, but there is no potential even close to what Hicks brings for the long term, which is where they should be looking.

I love the comment "I'd rather see the team playing for the terrific future than playing for the mediocre now." from above. I agree 100%.


This is good. I don't think there really should be any competition either. Getting some proper MLB seasoning this year Hicks, Arcia, and Pinto so 2015 is not just the unseasoned youth movement with Buxton, Rosario, and Santana. Presley is a solid improvement . . . . over the 4th OFs in recent memory. I do like the idea of Presley getting some time in LF and letting Willingham DH.

#21 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:18 AM

Presley showed in the minors that he's a pretty decent hitter. It hasn't translated to the majors, but when I saw him play in Indy, he was quite good. I get that it doesn't necessarily translate but given that the Twins won't be competing, I think they give Presley an extended look in the majors to prove he belongs, at which point he's probably traded for something a lot better than an aging Morneau. Otherwise, he's a 4th OF, and I'm fine with that too.

I think Hicks shoudl be put in AAA. I don't care of he hits .800 in ST with a homerun every game. He did quite well last year and did not do well once the season began. I'd rather him play against easier competition and master that and then promote him once he's earned it.

#22 blindeke

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:27 AM

If Hicks makes the Twins, what are the chances that Gardy sits him a bunch because he's not a veteran like Presley?

#23 cmathewson

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:58 AM

Presley is a decent stop gap and fourth outfielder. But he has little long-term value as a starter. Hicks might not be the starting center fielder next year, but he should get his chance this year. As some have said, how soon? My question is, why not on opening day?

I don't think you look at history for your decision. You look at the present. Side by side, Hicks is the better player now and the much better player by the end of the year. If he's stronger, he could become the kind of corner outfielder next year that we haven't had since Shane Mack: Great range, arm and a power stick.

#24 jmlease1

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:11 PM

I really want Hicks to be the starting CF. Especially with Willingham likely to play at least some OF and Arcia likely to be starting in RF. His defense will be needed even if his bat is still struggling. But I really like the idea of Willingham being the primary DH and guys like Kubel, Parmelee, and/or Presley getting most of those OF starts.

I think Hicks can get the job. He's got the talent and after his horrific start did start putting together competent ABs during his time with the Twins. Let him work with Brunansky for the full season and play fantastic defnese for a team that has enough flyball pitchers that we'll need his range and arm.

#25 Kwak

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:11 PM

Hicks isn't the future CF. Will he be adequate at a corner? We will have to wait and see. Please consider the oh-so-many top prospects the Twins have and then ask: "who stays?, who plays?, and who leaves? Guys are stacking-up in the minors and this must be the last year to indulge in the use of place-holders. I understand the FO taking steps to avoid another 90-game losing season, as well as the assuaging the manager with veteran-players. But they simply can't sing the same refrain about "the best minor league system"--and then not play them. There are very few who care about the W/L records at the affliates--they want to see the Twins win! The minor leagues can be left to their own devices.

#26 Macneil4025

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

Aaron Hicks needs to be at AAA, Presley can be a leadoff hitter, this will be the biggest advantage to him starting the season as the starter. If Presley isn't starting, who on this club can leadoff, nobody!! It's really this simple!

#27 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:54 PM

Don't you want Hicks to step up grab the CF job by the throat? Anything short of that and you have to believe that he is on the outside looking in on their long term plans. With Buxton and potentially Rosario no more than a year away, he has to prove he is a major league player now. If he doesn't make the club, he better rake in AAA and be up no later than June. Anything less and it may be time to start looking elsewhere.

#28 johnnydakota

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

what are our choices?look to win 74 games with Veterans who wont be here in a year or 2, or develope our kids and win 60 games and see who is part of the future and who isint? Isint that part of rebuilding? 1 of my questions I have for this off season .... where are our new Magic beans?where are our new Meyers and May? Are we done rebuilding, do we have ALL the pieces to the future? then why havent we added any this off season?

So I say if hicks is hitting this spring bring him north and let him play , either he does well and stays, or we end up using presley and send the kid back to AAA,either way we see if he is ready and he gains experience

#29 strumdatjag

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:17 PM

When Buxton takes over CF, and presuming Hicks is worthy, then is Hicks better suited for LF (to take advantage of his speed in covering more ground) or RF (to take advantage of his arm)???????????

#30 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:32 PM

When Buxton takes over CF, and presuming Hicks is worthy, then is Hicks better suited for LF (to take advantage of his speed in covering more ground) or RF (to take advantage of his arm)???????????


I think it depends on the other options. If Arcia is the 3rd OF, I'd want Hicks in LF to cover more space... plus, Arcia has a strong arm. If Rosario is the third OF, I would want Hicks in RF because of his arm, but also because Rosario would have very good range.

Clear as mud?