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Aaron Hicks's Ceiling?

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#1 KirbyHawk75

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:11 PM

Could he be a 20/20 guy? Can he hit .280 or higher? I do not believe he will ever be a leadoff hitter.

#2 cmathewson

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:58 PM

I could see it. He could hit 20 homers this year. The stolen bases will be the harder stat.
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#3 KirbyHawk75

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:02 PM

Thanks... And I was not even necessarily talking about this year. I guess I also meant when he is in his prime.

#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:28 PM

My opinion is his ceiling is what he did in NB in 2012... .270ish,, .350ish OBP, 35 doubles, 20 homers, 25-30 SB.

Not saying all of those in one season, but I think those are his top numbers.

#5 Thrylos

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:39 PM

I am actually higher on Hicks than most. I think that his ceiling is Torii Hunter/Carlos Gomez (and, yes, I am listing those two as very similar; the Twins blew that one...)
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#6 twinsfan34

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:00 PM

In the running for a GG each year defensively.

He'll never be a leadoff hitter for long in this organization with Buxton's permanence in MLB probably starting in 2016, if not sometime in 2015.

He was awful last year and he had 8 HR and 9 SB (12 tries). Imagine if he got a little more good contact...that's 12-13 HR for that half season, so I wouldn't have a problem saying he could have seasons that land in the 20-26 HR range as well as that many SB, but tailoring off as he gets older and bigger (he put on some muscle/weight this past off-season). Average...anywhere from .260-270ish.

I guess, that fits Thrylos description, aka Torii Hunter/Carlos Gomez.

Not as good of an arm as Gomez, not as good of a stick as Hunter, more BB's that both of them combined.

#7 twinsfan34

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:08 PM

I don't think those projections are anything 'unusual'...as your question was that.

The difference with some is they feel he won't get there.

Keith Law feels he will.

I do too.

Torii took a little time to turn around, as did Gomez.

Hicks is 24 this year.

Hunter was 25 before he finally 'got it'...and Gomez was 26 before he hit .260 for a season with "some" plate discipline. And finally enjoying a great season at 27.

So Hicks...has this year...to do basically not much, and he'd still be on par to meet Hunter's production in 2016. And another 2 more years...to get to where Gomez is.

Do I think he makes it? Absolutely.

Hunter Gomez compare to Hicks.JPG

#8 tobi0040

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:17 PM

My opinion is his ceiling is what he did in NB in 2012... .270ish,, .350ish OBP, 35 doubles, 20 homers, 25-30 SB.

Not saying all of those in one season, but I think those are his top numbers.


I agree that is about his ceiling, maybe a slightly higher BA. I think he will always walk about 8% of the time, which gives him a huge edge to stick in this league. A .270/.350/.720-.750 line with 50+ extra base hits means he can stick in LF or RF for the Twins, in my opinion. His offense would be about league average or slightly below for that position and he would probably be top 5 for arm and range for a corner OF spot. Not bad for a guy under control for a long time and who won't ever cost $100M

#9 Jim H

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:06 PM

Hicks will likely get there. I like the comp to Hunter. Hunter never was an offensive force for the Twins, but he had power, could steal a base, managed a respectable ave., even if he never really figured out how to take a walk. Hicks will do it different, but he also has comparable power, possibly better speed, and will take walks. He just has to make enough contact to acheive a respectable ave.

Hicks could be an excellent corner OF. I believe he is above average in center now. I would think he would be very good in left field.

It is easy to forget that most very good players had a learning curve in the majors. There are only a few who come up and are great right away.

#10 longstrangetrip

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:06 PM

It's really difficult to say. He appears to have all the tools to be close to a 20-20 guy with plus defense, but his time in the majors hasn't been stellar to date. If I were calling the shots, there would be no question about starting the season with Hicks in CF. Gardy, on the other hand, really seems to be trying to make a case for "not Hicks" to be the starting CF. Anybody else sense this? The last two days Gardy has made a point to single out Hicks' flaws. Yesterday it was a missed cutoff man, and today it was at least one missed sign. I don't like that critical side of Gardy...I'd prefer that he be building up Aaron's confidence rather than tearing it down.

#11 TheLeviathan

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 06:17 PM

Hicks could be an excellent corner OF. I believe he is above average in center now. I would think he would be very good in left field.


I think this is spot on. I need to see A LOT of improvement from him in CF to think him more than average as a ceiling at this point.

#12 jorgenswest

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 06:23 PM

Like Hunter and Gomez, his defense will keep him in the game long enough to develop offensive value. Hopefully that will be in the Twin organization.

For this year, the a Twins might bat him 9th with Dozier lead off and Mauer batting second. Too bad they have two other guys in Suzuki and Florimon that are number 9 hitters.

#13 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:20 PM

I liken Aaron's 2013 season to a person who is having a bad day or a bad year, where your mind is firmly in the right place, but things start off very poorly and they have a down spiraling effect of which you cannot recover. There is no science to this philosophy, but It has happened to me and others... "Bleep" happens.

What I like about Hicks is his ability to take a BB in the minors. Maybe Hunter and Gomez are not the best comparables, but if Hicks can shore up his defense (which I have hard time believing he will not) and translate his plate patience to the MLB style of play. He could definitely be a Tori Hunter type with a better OBP, but soon becoming a slick gloved corner Outfielder with a terrific throwing arm.

I hope for the best - I believe he is a much better NOW solution than the Pressley dude we received from Pittsburgh.

#14 Sconnie

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:12 PM

He'll never be a leadoff hitter for long in this organization with Buxton's permanence in MLB probably starting in 2016, if not sometime in 2015.

He was awful last year and he had 8 HR and 9 SB (12 tries). Imagine if he got a little more good contact...that's 12-13 HR for that half season, so I wouldn't have a problem saying he could have seasons that land in the 20-26 HR range as well as that many SB, but tailoring off as he gets older and bigger (he put on some muscle/weight this past off-season). Average...anywhere from .260-270ish.

I think his average and homers will both climb batting in 2, with Buxton in front of him and Mauer behind. He'll see a lot more hitable pitches with Mauer behind him, and a lot more mistakes with attention being paid to hold Buxton on base.

.280 ish batting avg
9-10% walk rate
20/20 should be pretty doable

#15 Brad Swanson

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:16 PM

My opinion is his ceiling is what he did in NB in 2012... .270ish,, .350ish OBP, 35 doubles, 20 homers, 25-30 SB.

Not saying all of those in one season, but I think those are his top numbers.


If he can do this while playing center (or right, please don't put him in left, his arm is wasted there), he's an extremely valuable player. That's a 4-5 WAR player in center and 3-4 WAR in right.

His ceiling and profile remind me a bit of Mike Cameron and Ray Lankford with a little less power. Both of those guys settled in as consistent offensive players around age 26-27, but both had one good offensive season before that.

Edited by Brad Swanson, 22 March 2014 - 09:24 PM.

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#16 stringer bell

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:40 PM

I like Hicks as a center fielder. I think he can develop to be a fine defensive player, but he wasn't a fine defensive center fielder last year. Both his jumps and his routes need work, but he has the range and arm to be very good and I am sure his routes will improve with experience. I have said on other threads that I am not sure if his bat will play at a corner and remain unconvinced.

I think the best choice for left field is Alex Presley. While he will get starts in center, I expect he will get many starts in left, with Willingham DHing. Presley might be Tyneresque, but he has would have plenty of range for left and when he is in the lineup, he would be the best alternative to lead off, with Dozier hitting second. BTW, if Hicks ends up playing a corner, I expect it will be left. The only place where his arm is "wasted" is that runners don't routinely go first to third on singles to left. However, left field is bigger so his speed and range would be on display more there than the smaller right field at TF.

#17 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:39 PM

In the running for a GG each year defensively.

He'll never be a leadoff hitter for long in this organization with Buxton's permanence in MLB probably starting in 2016, if not sometime in 2015.


Aaron Hicks' inability to be a leadoff hitter for the Twins depends on Aaron Hicks, not anybody else. I think Buxton will be more of a 2/3 hitter anyway if his power comes along like it should. 2016 seems a little late too, but these are all of my opinion anyway.

I think Hicks will be more similar to Denard Span, but with more pop and less contact. Ceiling though? It's way up there. All things considered, he still is a 5 tool prospect which is a very rare commodity.

Edited by YourHouseIsMyHouse, 22 March 2014 - 11:41 PM.


#18 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:02 AM

The question on my mind ... Regardless of his ceiling, is his relative trade value as a center fielder too keep him as a corner OFer? Personally, I would love to see Kepler, Walker or Harrison really step-up this year an force their way on to the roster by mid 2015. The team would probably be better of IMO if Hicks was used as a trade chip for whatever we are missing at that point. There would be no need to rush. The FO could wait for just the right deal for a SS (if Santana does not improve his D) or a front of the rotation starter.


The real question on his ceiling might be what he can bring back in trade once Buxton arrives. He should have more value than Span, right?

#19 DocBauer

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:03 AM

.270 ish BA on a yearly basis with .280's being hs high. He has always shown patience, some say too much at times, and I'd expect to see his OB% consistently about 70 points higher. 500 AB's over a full season, his power and athleticism should translate to 30+doubles every year with a handful of triples. I believe he'll be a consistent 20/20 threat, give or take a few. Also on board with thinking he may muscle up a bit over time and gain a little more power but lose a little speed.

Hicks is doubtfull to ever rank amongst league leaders in any category, but he doesn't have to be. He'll play an excellent RF while backing up CF, and be the kind of consistent all around offensive producer who can hit and produce almost anywhere in the lineup.

The two questions I have for him are best position, (is his range better in a bigger LF if Arcia and his arm can handle right?), and with Buxton's impending arrival does he fit as a multi-talented #2 or productive and multi-faceted #6-7 hitter with Dozier more than likely holding down the second spot?

#20 CRArko

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:04 AM

I'm going to guess 8-10'. Same as mine. ;)

#21 strumdatjag

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:55 AM

Hicks is much more of a key for the Twins in future years than you may think. If he can hit at or near .300, and take a good number of walks, he has the speed to be a decent leadoff hitter. That allows Buxton to bat second where his increasing power may drive in Hicks, and because of speed he is less likely to be caught in a double play - and you could see a lot of situations where you have Hicks at third (or already home) and Buxton at second to start games.. Then Mauer at 3, then Sano at clean-up. If Hicks can be above-average, that would be a great first four in the line-up. BUT that's a BIG IFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#22 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 02:22 PM

My opinion is his ceiling is what he did in NB in 2012... .270ish,, .350ish OBP, 35 doubles, 20 homers, 25-30 SB.

Not saying all of those in one season, but I think those are his top numbers.


I'd say this is a pretty good projection. I could see him putting together a few seasons like that. Those are well above average for a CF too and can stand on their own in a corner if needs be (though I think Hicks will be of more value being traded to a CF needy team at some point).

#23 LaBombo

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 04:25 PM

He'll go as far as his left-handed bat will let him. If that's a .250 average, he'll need a lot of walks to push his lefty OBP above .330 or so. If that's the limit, he could still mash lefties enough to put up a season like the .270 avg/.350 OBP one people are projecting, but he'll also need those 15+ homers and 20+ SB's to really be a plus in a corner.

My guess is that he'll end up hitting enough to be a good but not great CF, and pretty close to an average corner OF. After seeing Benson, Parmelee, Plouffe and others flame out to varying degrees, it's hard for me to get really excited about any young hitters in the organization besides Buxton and Sano. Hope I'm wrong, like I was about Dozier.

Edited by LaBombo, 23 March 2014 - 04:34 PM.


#24 ashburyjohn

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:45 AM

I'm going to guess 8-10'. Same as mine. ;)


If he has a major league salary for several years, he will be able to afford walls of a height unimaginable to you or me.

Oh, and I think he could nudge .300 for a BA a season or two, with the good power/speed numbers mentioned above. I think he can cut down on the strikeouts as he gains experience.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 24 March 2014 - 10:47 AM.