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According to LEN3- It appears the Twins are near the end of their patience w/ Hicks


jokin
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I understand. I doubt pitchers are very afraid of him & they certainly aren't trying to walk him but it happens a fair amount of the time. Yes, he fouls off a fair amount of pitches, works the count a lot & eventually he either walks or strikes out. He strikes out 27% of his PA & it seems like he takes strike 3 way more than he should. When he's not striking out he walks 17% of the time.

 

Bottom line, he's batting under .200 for the 2nd straight season. Does anyone really think that's an acceptable BA even though his OBP is a "stellar".338? Plus, as mentioned, he's giving up switch hitting & that can't be easy against ML RH pitchers.

 

I guess we could compare him to Ben Revere. Ben Revere has an OBP of .302, with 7 XBH in 228 PAs. Hicks has an OBP of .338 with 6 XBH in 156 PAs. Offensively, I'd rather have Hicks. Defensively? Revere has the better UZR/150 after a slow start. But I have a hard time believing anyone would be calling for sending him down because his batting average is .286 and he has the smile and the appearance of running really fast.

 

FWIW, I think they should send Hicks down to get used to hitting right handed against right handed pitching. But his play alone doesn't deserve the kind of angst we're hearing.

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Great conversation on Hicks, who has been a lightning rod for at least this season. Of all the comments in this thread, I probably agree with RB the most. Hicks hasn't hit the ball hard and hasn't demonstrated his supposedly ample toolkit. I disagree about the arm. Hicks has a fine arm, but showing it off by making unnecessary throws is ridiculous. On another point, Hicks has above average speed, but it isn't game-changing speed. Hicks hasn't hit well above AA, he has a .600 OPS in about 450 plate appearances, not sufficient for a major league regular and he is not a great fielder although he has enough speed and a fine arm, so that he could be very good. I have said that Hicks has about a year to establish himself. Nothing in his history tells me he can move to a corner and hit well enough to keep a job.

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The rumbling about Hicks character is interesting. We see the team between the lines and in the dugout. We don't see the clubhouse. I suspect the rumbling has a lot to go with Aaron Hicks fitting in. I'm speculating here, I understand that.

 

Players tend to befriend and associate with those that share the same language. It is obvious and apparent that the Hispanic players associate with each other and I presume that is the case with the clubhouse. Aaron Hicks is a young African American, he would naturally associate with......? The non-Hispanic position player closest in age to Hicks is Parmelee, I suppose. I would not be surprised if Hicks is somewhat off by himself and the manager and coaches consider him aloof. He's thrown them a couple curves (dropping switch hitting and reporting injuries perhaps after not seeking treatment). All of this gets swept under the rug if Hicks is hitting .270 with a .750 OPS, not so much when he's been over the Mendoza line for one day after the first week of the season. Two other young players with far fewer ABs have more extra base hits--Espinosa with 20 doubles and Danny Santana with seven XBHs in less than 100 plate appearances. So, to summarize, I think the Twins see a guy who hasn't bought in to the Twins Way, whose best friends aren't his teammates and who seems to go his own way. Some of this is undoubtedly the team's fault. Some of that is on Hicks IMHO.

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The rumbling about Hicks character is interesting. We see the team between the lines and in the dugout. We don't see the clubhouse. I suspect the rumbling has a lot to go with Aaron Hicks fitting in. I'm speculating here, I understand that.

 

Players tend to befriend and associate with those that share the same language. It is obvious and apparent that the Hispanic players associate with each other and I presume that is the case with the clubhouse. Aaron Hicks is a young African American, he would naturally associate with......? The non-Hispanic position player closest in age to Hicks is Parmelee, I suppose. I would not be surprised if Hicks is somewhat off by himself and the manager and coaches consider him aloof. He's thrown them a couple curves (dropping switch hitting and reporting injuries perhaps after not seeking treatment). All of this gets swept under the rug if Hicks is hitting .270 with a .750 OPS, not so much when he's been over the Mendoza line for one day after the first week of the season. Two other young players with far fewer ABs have more extra base hits--Espinosa with 20 doubles and Danny Santana with seven XBHs in less than 100 plate appearances. So, to summarize, I think the Twins see a guy who hasn't bought in to the Twins Way, whose best friends aren't his teammates and who seems to go his own way. Some of this is undoubtedly the team's fault. Some of that is on Hicks IMHO.

 

Maybe Hicks could invite "Espinoza" out on a golf date? :D

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I disagree about the arm. Hicks has a fine arm, but showing it off by making unnecessary throws is ridiculous.

 

String... I think we are on the same wavelength but I gotta ask... Why are you under the impression that I think he should make unnecessary throws?

 

I'm saying I've heard he has a world class arm and I'm saying I've seen it once. 129 games played... I've watched over 100 of those games. How come I've only went "Wow... Look at that"... Once?

 

Yankee Stadium... I don't remember the base runner... I just remember the ball rolling around the CF warning track and he made a throw to 3B on the fly... That only someone with a cannon could make.

 

I just think... I'd see it again somewhere. He has 12 assists but pretty routine stuff because I remember the good ones. I think he clipped Cruz at 2nd once on a nice spin and throw.

 

Ok... That's Two but that isn't a lot... If you have a hose and he clearly does.

 

i'm not saying anything definitive about Hicks but knowing when to let it fly and when to hit the cut is part of the game and part of engagement. I want to be clear... I'm not saying that Hicks doesn't know or care because I don't know.

 

I'm saying... I assume I'd see more examples of letting it fly with the arm he clearly has but... not unnecessary... You know... letting it fly.

Edited by Riverbrian
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This is another example why this organization needs drastic changes from the Front Office, to the manager to the coaches.

 

"Hicks stinks", right? His OBP is .338. Denard Span's OBP the last 3 seasons with the Twins was .331, .328 and .342. So:

 

Either Hicks does not stink

or the Manager stinks who was hitting leadoff a stinky player day after day (insert Violent Femmes sound effect.)

 

Something's got to give... and tired of mentioning the ridiculous practices of throwing certain players under the bus and codling others. Mauer's OBP is .342. So hit him 3rd and keep hitting him third until the cows come home.

 

They just got to go...

 

So one statistic trumps the other one thousand and one statistics AND ten years' worth of Joe Mauer track record.

 

Gotcha.

 

We should DEFINITELY fire everyone from Terry Ryan to the grounds crew. That will win us multiple World Series per year, I'm pretty sure.

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String... I think we are on the same wavelength but I gotta ask... Why are you under the impression that I think he should make unnecessary throws?

 

I'm saying I've heard he has a world class arm and I'm saying I've seen it once. 129 games played... I've watched over 100 of those games. How come I've only went "Wow... Look at that"... Once?

 

Yankee Stadium... I don't remember the base runner... I just remember the ball rolling around the CF warning track and he made a throw to 3B on the fly... That only someone with a cannon could make.

 

I just think... I'd see it again somewhere. He has 12 assists but pretty routine stuff because I remember the good ones. I think he clipped Cruz at 2nd once on a nice spin and throw.

 

Ok... That's Two but that isn't a lot... If you have a hose and he clearly does.

 

i'm not saying anything definitive about Hicks but knowing when to let it fly and when to hit the cut is part of the game and part of engagement. I want to be clear... I'm not saying that Hicks doesn't know or care because I don't know.

 

I'm saying... I assume I'd see more examples of letting it fly with the arm he clearly has but... not unnecessary... You know... letting it fly.

 

He has an Arcia arm. When he was unknown, guys ran on it. If memory serves, he had double digit assists last year, in just three month and change. His assists are down this year, but his arm is well known and he's been mostly a part-time player for the last month.

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So one statistic trumps the other one thousand and one statistics AND ten years' worth of Joe Mauer track record.

 

Gotcha.

 

We should DEFINITELY fire everyone from Terry Ryan to the grounds crew. That will win us multiple World Series per year, I'm pretty sure.

 

If you could only have one stat, OBP would be it. It correlates to team runs more than any other. And if his OBP is close to Mauer's, it means it's not bad. Not to say he doesn't have a lot of work to do. Just that the org should not give up on him. If this constitutes "blowing his chance," they are not patient enough.

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Of the 30 centerfielders with 150 or plate appearances. Hicks ranked 24th in wRC+. He did that by ranking first in OBP and 29th in ISO (ahead of Revere). Below him in RC+ were Eaton, Bonifacio, Upton, Bourjos, Hamilton and Sizemore. It isn't enough of a sample to state he is the better player. It does describe a contribution that fits somewhere between 21st and 27th (77-82).

 

Last year he was at 63 ahead of only Upton. It is progress. He is young and will continue to improve. Part of improving is playing in AAA and getting some consistent at bats from the right side as well as playing some RF and LF.

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Of the 30 centerfielders with 150 or plate appearances. Hicks ranked 24th in wRC+. He did that by ranking first in OBP and 29th in ISO (ahead of Revere). Below him in RC+ were Eaton, Bonifacio, Upton, Bourjos, Hamilton and Sizemore. It isn't enough of a sample to state he is the better player. It does describe a contribution that fits somewhere between 21st and 27th (77-82).

 

Last year he was at 63 ahead of only Upton. It is progress. He is young and will continue to improve. Part of improving is playing in AAA and getting some consistent at bats from the right side as well as playing some RF and LF.

 

I find all of this really encouraging. Too many are down on Hicks. Being disappointed is certainly understandable but the kid's too young and too talented to be written off quite yet.

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He has an Arcia arm. When he was unknown, guys ran on it. If memory serves, he had double digit assists last year, in just three month and change. His assists are down this year, but his arm is well known and he's been mostly a part-time player for the last month.

 

Just so everyone understands... I am all for being patient with Hicks. He has the tools to be a superstar and I don't want him just discarded like he'll never get it. I'd be upset if we just dealt him away like we did with Gomez.

 

To be fair to Hicks... If Memory serves... I believe that Hicks was benched by Gardy early last year for not hitting the cut... This may have slowed him down a little with his arm aggressiveness.

 

I think teams are aware of his arm... I'm sure they have scouting reports. But... they also may be aware of him not using it to the fullest... Who knows?

 

When I talk about Hicks Right Now... it has nothing to do with what I think Hicks could be in the future. Right now... I think he needs to go down to Rochester and continue to work on some things and those are the things that I list along with hitting RH exclusively.

 

If his head is one of the things that he needs to work on... I have no idea... But Rochester would be good for that as well if he does.

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Just so everyone understands... I am all for being patient with Hicks. He has the tools to be a superstar and I don't want him just discarded like he'll never get it. I'd be upset if we just dealt him away like we did with Gomez.

 

To be fair to Hicks... If Memory serves... I believe that Hicks was benched by Gardy early last year for not hitting the cut... This may have slowed him down a little with his arm aggressiveness.

 

I think teams are aware of his arm... I'm sure they have scouting reports. But... they also may be aware of him not using it to the fullest... Who knows?

 

When I talk about Hicks Right Now... it has nothing to do with what I think Hicks could be in the future. Right now... I think he needs to go down to Rochester and continue to work on some things and those are the things that I list along with hitting RH exclusively.

 

If his head is one of the things that he needs to work on... I have no idea... But Rochester would be good for that as well if he does.

 

And time in Rochester and mastering that level would fall in line exactly with his development pattern before the Twins attempted to shortcircuit the process and jump him 2 levels in 2013. A restoration of a "planned patience" might be the best approach at this point for Hicks.

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And time in Rochester and mastering that level would fall in line exactly with his development pattern before the Twins attempted to shortcircuit the process and jump him 2 levels in 2013. A restoration of a "planned patience" might be the best approach at this point for Hicks.

 

Agreed fully. Even though Hicks is showing progress at the MLB level, some time in Rochester and out of the spotlight certainly won't hurt.

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Agreed fully. Even though Hicks is showing progress at the MLB level, some time in Rochester and out of the spotlight certainly won't hurt.

 

After skimming the thread, here are my thoughts:

 

-Why it makes sense to call out a player publicly, especially a rookie with confidence problems is beyond me. Act like adults and keep it in-house. This is not going to help a player develop and will be more of an issue as we bring up 10-14 talented players in the next year or two.

 

-Similar to this notion about frustration, maybe Hicks is also frustrated that he was left up here for too long because the organization let plan B, C, and D leave the organization? Or that they didn't have him drop batting left earlier, say in one of the six years in the minors that he struggled from the left side, which compounds the issue of leaving him here too long? It is interesting that the 24 year old player hasn't said anything about his frustration, but the manager has.

 

It does make sense for Hicks to go down to AAA instead of twice a week up here. I would play him every day down there and I would have him stand in the batters box against every righty that does a bullpen session during the day

 

-This teams biggest needs are CF and SS. It is a fact that we had in our system a CF that is one of the best 3 in the league and we had a player in our system that is a top 10 SS. We gave up on both of them. So to see so many fans and in the organization down on Hicks after 450 at bats makes me cringe.

Edited by tobi0040
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To be fair to Hicks... If Memory serves... I believe that Hicks was benched by Gardy early last year for not hitting the cut... This may have slowed him down a little with his arm aggressiveness.

 

I think teams are aware of his arm... I'm sure they have scouting reports. But... they also may be aware of him not using it to the fullest... Who knows?

 

.

 

 

Regarding Hicks arm. He has 3 assists this year. 13 total OF have more in the AL and I am guessing this list if filled with people that have many more reps than Hicks does. If he had just one more assist to make up for all the games he has been sitting on the bench, only six OF in the AL would be ahead of him (includes LF and RF)

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-Why it makes sense to call out a player publicly, especially a rookie with confidence problems is beyond me. Act like adults and keep it in-house. This is not going to help a player develop and will be more of an issue as we bring up 10-14 talented players in the next year or two.

 

I generally dislike the calling out of players in the press. With that said, it may have been a last resort with Hicks in which case, it makes sense to do it.

 

I'm neutral on the calling out of Hicks for that reason. I don't know what went on behind the scenes to lead up to that point.

 

-Similar to this notion about frustration, maybe Hicks is also frustrated that he was left up here for too long because the organization let plan B, C, and D leave the organization? Or that they didn't have him drop batting left earlier, say in one of the six years in the minors that he struggled from the left side, which compounds the issue of leaving him here too long?

 

I find it unlikely that a player is frustrated that the team had too much confidence in him and gave him too much responsibility.

 

On the other hand, it's not the player's responsibility to intelligently manage his progression. The player is almost always going to want to be at a higher level, a better spot in the batting order, etc. These are the best players in the world and they're hyper-competitive. It's the organization's duty to temper that competitive nature and do what's best for the long-term success of the player. The Twins did not do that with Hicks.

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I generally dislike the calling out of players in the press. With that said, it may have been a last resort with Hicks in which case, it makes sense to do it.

 

I'm neutral on the calling out of Hicks for that reason. I don't know what went on behind the scenes to lead up to that point..

 

I guess that is my point, after 450 at bats we should not be at the point of "last resort". Someone pointed out before, Hicks OBP is right were Span's was after 3 years and is tied with Mauer's. Are we really at this point now?

 

Regarding your other comment, I agree we have not helped his progression and that Hicks was probably thrilled to make the team last year. But I am guessing he is at a point now where he probably knows AAA is a better place for him, especially since he dropped batting left. But he is still up here primarily due to a lack of options.

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If you could only have one stat, OBP would be it. It correlates to team runs more than any other. And if his OBP is close to Mauer's, it means it's not bad. Not to say he doesn't have a lot of work to do. Just that the org should not give up on him. If this constitutes "blowing his chance," they are not patient enough.

 

Except it doesn't. OPS, wRC and wOBA are much better.

 

http://projectprospect.com/article/2009/07/09/barrel-awareness-correlating-team-hitting-stats-with-runs

 

But more importantly the thing that matters is what a player will do for the rest of the season. Hicks simply isn't hitting the ball at all. His hits are not hard liners and the only thing making his offense look halfway respectable is all of the BB's. So going forward does he continue to struggle to hit the ball? Does he continue to rack up the walks? My guess is the team isn't optimistic on either of those.

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Yeah, there are better stats than OBP that correlate to runs scored but it's still one of the better metrics to gauge a player's worth. Obviously, something like OPS would be even better and wOBA and wRC are even better than that. The more you combine statistics and the more complicated a metric becomes, the better correlation it has to runs scored.

 

OBP is a one piece metric: OBP

 

OPS is a two piece metric: OBP, SLG

 

wOBA and wRC are complicated equations with several pieces.

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I guess that is my point, after 450 at bats we should not be at the point of "last resort". Someone pointed out before, Hicks OBP is right were Span's was after 3 years and is tied with Mauer's. Are we really at this point now?

 

Regarding your other comment, I agree we have not helped his progression and that Hicks was probably thrilled to make the team last year. But I am guessing he is at a point now where he probably knows AAA is a better place for him, especially since he dropped batting left. But he is still up here primarily due to a lack of options.

 

 

We are all just speculating but maybe Brunansky or Gardy had multiple meetings with Hicks trying to get thru to him without much success. At that point maybe they thought calling him out might work better. You can't use one cookie cutter approach with all people.

 

I like the ability to get on base as much as the next guy but it's not the only stat that matters. His BA is .198 & his SL% is .262. Those are really, really bad numbers & a large amount of walks doesn't overcome that.

 

I'm not ready to give up on Hicks but he should be in AAA. I think he should have been there from the start of the year but that's the Twins fault.

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This situation seems the flip side of the old quote from a manager or GM or maybe pitching coach: "I don't need left-handed pitchers. I need pitchers who can get left-handed batters out."

 

Hicks needs to hit productively against right-handed pitchers. Right now he doesn't. Batting from the left side wasn't getting it done. The early returns as a righty against righties aren't good. (I was surprised to see he already has 99 PA in that configuration.) I don't care whether he bats left, right, or standing on his head against them. I don't care about his psychology. He just needs to improve. And AAA probably is the place to learn.

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I like the ability to get on base as much as the next guy but it's not the only stat that matters. His BA is .198 & his SL% is .262. Those are really, really bad numbers & a large amount of walks doesn't overcome that..

 

I get it, the BA and slugging are horrible. But he has talant and has shown a few things. Nobody should be giving up on him but some are. LEN3's blog sounds like we may as well cut the guy.

 

Here are a few flashes I have seen:

 

-A great eye at the plate

-The slugging was pretty decent last year, he was on pace for something like 16 HR if he had 600 AB (including 3 in one game)

-He has a great arm

-He has been much better from the right side

-He has robbed 3 HR's

 

These things are a decent base for him, AAA will be a nice stop to build on these things.

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This situation seems the flip side of the old quote from a manager or GM or maybe pitching coach: "I don't need left-handed pitchers. I need pitchers who can get left-handed batters out."

 

Hicks needs to hit productively against right-handed pitchers. Right now he doesn't. Batting from the left side wasn't getting it done. The early returns as a righty against righties aren't good. (I was surprised to see he already has 99 PA in that configuration.) I don't care whether he bats left, right, or standing on his head against them. I don't care about his psychology. He just needs to improve. And AAA probably is the place to learn.

 

Baseball Reference is incorrect. He's only had 156 PA all year. It shows him as having only 6 PA as a LH batter all year.

 

Fan Graphs shows he has had 20 PA vs. RH pitchers as a RH batter. He has had 3 hits, all singles so far.

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The Fuld Accompli is finally completed- and things around the clubhouse are bound to settle down quite a bit. I'm wondering what the story is, medically speaking, for Hicks' shoulder after his encounter with team physicians yesterday?
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Hicks R vs R has to be less than 50 plate appearances. 3-20 sounds right and he batted RH vs Dickey the first time the Twins faced him (I think he got a hit then, too).

 

The DL move is expected and a maximum rehab for the injury is also expected. The rehab angle will save an option if another injury occurs and Hicks is again needed on the big club.

 

I am firmly in the camp with Golfboy, Kab and RB that Hicks has hit very few balls hard. The large number of walks is great, but it doesn't make him an on-base machine because he just doesn't get enough hits. Maybe, he will be able to develop his hitting (esp vs. RH) to a decent level. For the Twins sake, I hope so. But sincerely, right now I would rather have Danny Santana playing center field and leading off for the Twins rather than Aaron Hicks starting and hitting at the bottom of the order.

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Well, the DL saves the Twins from having to option Hicks, as he'll be eligible for a minor league rehab stint after he returns from the disabled list, and by that time the Twins might have a roster spot for him. Given Hicks' slow development, the options are particularly valuable.

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