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Even though Hicks is better than AP and DM......

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#1 KirbyHawk75

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:46 PM

Is it best for the Twins and Hicks to have Hicks start in the minors?

#2 Willihammer

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:59 PM

Don't forget Jermaine Mitchell!

edit: And Wilkin Ramirez!

And the answer I believe is yes.

#3 kab21

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:56 AM

By the end of last season Hicks was so messed up at the plate that he didn't even hit well in AAA. He needs to regain some level of composure and plan at the plate before he gets challenged by MLB pitchers again imo. It's possible that the Twins could make feel that he is ready again but I would like him in AAA. Allow him to come up with very little pressure in June.

#4 Thrylos

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:34 AM

This is not about Hicks feeling pressure or not. It is about the Twins winning. And they cannot win with the likes of Presley (who has been horrible this Spring both with the bat and the glove) and Mastroianni in starting roles. The Twins need Hicks to perform.

#5 stringer bell

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:41 AM

I disagree a bit. I think this is about Hicks' development. What is best for Hicks' development is best for the Twins long-term. I think a short time in Rochester will benefit Hicks and the Twins.

#6 Sconnie

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:38 AM

By the end of last season Hicks was so messed up at the plate that he didn't even hit well in AAA. He needs to regain some level of composure and plan at the plate before he gets challenged by MLB pitchers again imo. It's possible that the Twins could make feel that he is ready again but I would like him in AAA. Allow him to come up with very little pressure in June.


i think there see some health issues that are being missed.


Yes. When he came back healthy, he played well in AAA. Not reflected in the regular season stats. I don't know how many times I have to post this, but perhaps one more time will do the trick.


OPS by month:


April .356
May .707
June .708
July .671


Clete Thomas 2013 OPS: .597
Alex Presley 2013 OPS: .699


So from May to the end of the year, Aaron Hicks was the best center fielder on the Twins in 2013. And he didn't perform nearely as well as anybody expected. But he made an adjustment towards the end of April that carried through until they sent him down. He carshed and burned in his first 10 games. After that, he held his own.


i agree with CMat. That's not to say that Hicks is 100% ready for the bigs. I don't know. I think the Hicks is already our best option.

i do think however that the Twins should not let Hicks struggle too much. If he starts out poorly again, don't wait too long to send him back down.

#7 Sconnie

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:41 AM

DM has been sent down. Am I right that Hicks, Presley, Mitchell are with the big league club yet. (And Ramirez who I like but don't think of as a CF). Does Mitchell have a shot? I know nothing of the guy.

#8 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:54 AM

DM has been sent down. Am I right that Hicks, Presley, Mitchell are with the big league club yet. (And Ramirez who I like but don't think of as a CF). Does Mitchell have a shot? I know nothing of the guy.


Mitchell was also among the cuts. The only center fielders left in camp are Hicks and Presley., unless you count Ramirez, which I don't.
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#9 beckmt

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 08:19 AM

That probably means that Hicks is the starting CF, Do not see Presley and Rameriz as being the only options. However I agree if Hicks struggles early send him back down.

#10 Oxtung

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:57 AM

I think he needs to go back to AAA. There were clearly things he couldn't handle last season and working on them in a lower stress environment surrounded by players working on similar issues and with coaches whose sole job is to teach those fundamentals would benefit Hicks best. You don't teach a kid to swim by repeatedly throwing them in the deep end and shouting "Swim darn it!" If anybody would like see my reasoning on it here is my complete view on the situation.

#11 Halsey Hall

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:07 PM

Hicks will start in center. He hit a double and a dinger today in the minor league game. And we really need him starting, so there's not a doubt in my mind he will be.

#12 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:02 PM

I like Hicks getting another shot at CF again. Though I think I'd prefer they didn't stick him batting leadoff.

His tools are probably the closest the Twins have to a leadoff hitter, but I'd like to see him bat lower while he gets re-acclimated to the majors.

#13 LaBombo

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:17 PM

Is everyone who wants Hicks to start in center because winning takes precedence over player development also in favor of putting Meyer into the rotation? Because that's essentially what you're asking for when you put Hicks back into the majors.

The highest level that each player has succeeded in is AA. You could argue that Hicks was more ready because he played a full season in AA while Meyer played just under half a season. But you could also argue that Meyer is a lower risk than Hicks to fail if starting the season in the majors because he hasn't already failed once like Hicks.

The fact is that Hicks didn't hit much in AAA either. Much has been made of the fact that he was playing through an injury that hampered his swing. That's certainly a strong possibility, but it's also a better argument for him to start the season in Rochester than it is to ignore his performance there and make him the opening day CF, isn't it?

Whether his swing was messed up due to injury or not, the point is it was messed up. If it was due to the injury, he should be able to tear it up in AAA for a couple of months, regain confidence, and still have over 400 PA's to contribute to the big club. If his AAA struggles were not due mostly to the injury, then he'll need some more work down there.

In any case, the fact that he struggled to make contact all of last year is a better indicator of his present ability level and what to expect at the beginning of the season than two dozen spring training AB's and a home run against a pitcher who may have washed out with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

There's a reason why pretty much every established projection system has Hicks OPSing a good 30 or 40 points lower than Alex Presley. Hicks will very likely end up the better player, and he's certainly more fun to watch, but the Twins are making the same mistake twice by having him start the season in Minnesota.

#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:43 PM

Hicks is better than Adrian Peterson? :)

#15 Halsey Hall

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:00 PM

Is everyone who wants Hicks to start in center because winning takes precedence over player development also in favor of putting Meyer into the rotation? Because that's essentially what you're asking for when you put Hicks back into the majors.




I want the best team out there, and that means Hicks. You can't compare Hicks and Meyer. Meyer isn't even in the conversation. I want wins first and foremost. Plus, there really isn't any other choice, Mauer can't play centerfield.

#16 ChiTownTwinsFan

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:00 PM

Hicks will start in center. He hit a double and a dinger today in the minor league game. And we really need him starting, so there's not a doubt in my mind he will be.

He came into the ML game in the 7th and hit a double in the 8th. I'd be very surprised at this point if he wasn't our starting CFer.
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#17 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

Is everyone who wants Hicks to start in center because winning takes precedence over player development also in favor of putting Meyer into the rotation? Because that's essentially what you're asking for when you put Hicks back into the majors.

The highest level that each player has succeeded in is AA. You could argue that Hicks was more ready because he played a full season in AA while Meyer played just under half a season. But you could also argue that Meyer is a lower risk than Hicks to fail if starting the season in the majors because he hasn't already failed once like Hicks.

The fact is that Hicks didn't hit much in AAA either. Much has been made of the fact that he was playing through an injury that hampered his swing. That's certainly a strong possibility, but it's also a better argument for him to start the season in Rochester than it is to ignore his performance there and make him the opening day CF, isn't it?

Whether his swing was messed up due to injury or not, the point is it was messed up. If it was due to the injury, he should be able to tear it up in AAA for a couple of months, regain confidence, and still have over 400 PA's to contribute to the big club. If his AAA struggles were not due mostly to the injury, then he'll need some more work down there.

In any case, the fact that he struggled to make contact all of last year is a better indicator of his present ability level and what to expect at the beginning of the season than two dozen spring training AB's and a home run against a pitcher who may have washed out with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

There's a reason why pretty much every established projection system has Hicks OPSing a good 30 or 40 points lower than Alex Presley. Hicks will very likely end up the better player, and he's certainly more fun to watch, but the Twins are making the same mistake twice by having him start the season in Minnesota.


The Fans at Fangraphs have Hicks at a higher OPS while Oliver has him at a much higher WAR. But I don't think this discussion is going anywhere. So I will refrain from arguing with you further.
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#18 Thrylos

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

I want the best team out there, and that means Hicks. You can't compare Hicks and Meyer. Meyer isn't even in the conversation. I want wins first and foremost. Plus, there really isn't any other choice, Mauer can't play centerfield.


He came into the ML game in the 7th and hit a double in the 8th. I'd be very surprised at this point if he wasn't our starting CFer.


Did you all see that one bouncer to the cutoff man from short center by Presley earlier in the game today? Revere-like arm...
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#19 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:34 PM

Did you all see that one bouncer to the cutoff man from short center by Presley earlier in the game today? Revere-like arm...


It's good comparison. Presley has Revere-like contact skills, arm and power, without Revere's speed, range or base running ability. The thing I've noticed about Hicks this spring is he is much stronger than he was at this time last year. When he hits the ball, it stays hit.
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#20 LaBombo

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:36 PM

I want the best team out there, and that means Hicks. You can't compare Hicks and Meyer. Meyer isn't even in the conversation. I want wins first and foremost. Plus, there really isn't any other choice, Mauer can't play centerfield.

While I don't agree that wins are the most important goal of this season, I certainly understand that philosophy. But why can't we compare the idea of promoting of Meyer to the majors to the decision to re-promote Hicks? And why aren't/weren't Presley and Mastro viable options?

#21 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:54 PM

When he hits the ball, it stays hit.


Never heard that quote before. My new favorite.

#22 Halsey Hall

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 05:55 PM

Because the rotation is set, center isn't. And right now, Meyer won't make the Rochester rotation. We've got alot of starting pitching, good starting pitching, and those towns with minor teams will have plenty to be happy about this year. Some will move thru the year, and Meyer probably rise, but no need for him at the majors just yet.

#23 Outlier

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:05 PM

By the end of last season Hicks was so messed up at the plate that he didn't even hit well in AAA. He needs to regain some level of composure and plan at the plate before he gets challenged by MLB pitchers again imo. It's possible that the Twins could make feel that he is ready again but I would like him in AAA. Allow him to come up with very little pressure in June.


One argument against Hicks in AAA could be if Dozier went to AAA last year instead of struggling for almost 2 months in the Majors, would he have made the turn around? Perhaps Bruno, et al are best equipped to get him where he needs to be regarding your concerns.

#24 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:35 PM

While I don't agree that wins are the most important goal of this season, I certainly understand that philosophy. But why can't we compare the idea of promoting of Meyer to the majors to the decision to re-promote Hicks? And why aren't/weren't Presley and Mastro viable options?


OK I'll play. There are two fundamental differences: the players are at different stages in their development cycles and the team has more needs in center than starting pitcher.

First, raw numbers are helpful, but they are not the primary way the Twins evaluate whether a guy is ready. Take their respective AA seasons. Hicks started slow and then dominated the league for the second half. He was among that league's best players. Meyer started strong, got hurt, and pretty much shut down before having a good AFL season. He never dominated.

Anyway, the Twins know a lot more about these guys than we do. They thought enough of Hicks to thrust him into the pressure cooker last year. It didn't work, but that doesn't mean it can't work. And it sure doesn't put him at the back of the line or anything.

Second, there currently is no room for Meyer, whereas there is a definite need for Hicks. Presley is a good bench option, but what we saw in September is his upside. Mastro had a decent year in 2012. But that was his upside. His game is speed, and he has reportedly lost a step with the injury and age. So those are the options, barring an acquisition.

Hicks is better now and much better in the future. I don't know what you expect from him. He's always been a guy who relies as much on walks and XBhits as anything. He's not a contact hitter and never will be. But that doesn't mean he can't be an above average center fielder with the bat, and a potential gold glove outfielder. Would AAA help him? Probably. How much? Open question. Guys like him get there eventually. I don't believe in talented guys ruining their careers through rushing. Grinders like Presley have to earn their way every level. One bad habit and they're done. Guys like Hicks have much larger margins for error.
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#25 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:40 PM

Never heard that quote before. My new favorite.


Credit where credit is due, it's a Dick Bremerism, purportedly picked it up in town ball.
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#26 LaBombo

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:58 PM

The Fans at Fangraphs have Hicks at a higher OPS

Hence the word "established" in my post. Pending good evidence to the contrary, you could substitute the words 'remotely valid'.

And yes, Oliver's WAR thinks Hicksie's web gems will offset the continued struggle at the plate that it projects. But it's a small overall edge derived from the much less quantifiable variable of the Offense + Defense = WAR equation.

Also, none of the projections account for the potential increase in offensive advantage for the Preslianni platoon as a result of them facing same-side pitching less often. That's not a given, with Presley having had some reverse platoon splits, but it's certainly worth noting.

But we agree that it's not worth arguing over (as opposed to discussing?). The decision has been made, and center probably belongs to Hicksie until B^2 arrives. His projected progression and ceiling took a hit last year, but it looks like a setback instead of a wall. He should be a good player, and how the Twins handled the choice probably won't have a drastic effect on either the outcome of the season or his future as a baseball player.

#27 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:19 PM

Why would someone assume that sending down Hicks to AAA would be good for him? His dad was a pro baseball player. Hicks has a professional center fielder's body, big league power and a hell of an arm. In my world, sending him down would be opening wounds and leaving him questioning himself and his ability. This is one time you leave the kid in MLB and let him learn to play at that level.

#28 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:25 PM

Why would someone assume that sending down Hicks to AAA would be good for him? His dad was a pro baseball player. Hicks has a professional center fielder's body, big league power and a hell of an arm. In my world, sending him down would be opening wounds and leaving him questioning himself and his ability. This is one time you leave the kid in MLB and let him learn to play at that level.

#29 LaBombo

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:35 PM

Why would someone assume that sending down Hicks to AAA would be good for him? His dad was a pro baseball player. Hicks has a professional center fielder's body, big league power and a hell of an arm. In my world, sending him down would be opening wounds and leaving him questioning himself and his ability. This is one time you leave the kid in MLB and let him learn to play at that level.


He was terrible at the plate and took some routes on fly balls that would have baffled Magellan. And if he's not more worried about the crap season he had last year more than a 2014 'demotion' to the level above the one where he last had success, well, that's an argument against the probability that he'll help the Twins in a meaningful way.

PS. Who his dad is? What his body looks like? Really?

#30 cmathewson

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:56 PM

He was terrible at the plate and took some routes on fly balls that would have baffled Magellan. And if he's not more worried about the crap season he had last year more than a 2014 'demotion' to the level above the one where he last had success, well, that's an argument against the probability that he'll help the Twins in a meaningful way.


It's not like the universe will implode if a player fails to dominate every level below the majors before getting his chance. Lots of guys struggle in AAA or in their first stint in t he majors and are not forced to go and prove it before eventually succeeding in the majors. Dozier's name has been mentioned. I think about Carlos Gomez a lot. It took him three years to make it. He's pretty good now. Hunter had a really tough time. Cuddyer too. There's not hard and fast rule. But most players struggle like Hicks did in his first year.

The other thing is, you're exaggerating his bad year last year. I can't remember that bad a slump at the beginning of a year. But I remember guys having slumps like that. Ben Revere couldn't hit the ball out of the infield when he first came up. But because it happened in September, after the team was out of it, nobody seems to remember. Denard Span had a 2-48 stint like Hicks. But because it happened in the middle of a year, people forgot it. Hicks' happened under the microscope of the first two weeks of the year. So that's what people remember about him. They forget the 12-game hitting streak or the three-homer game.
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