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  • Are Gibson, Hicks Destined For Rochester?

    Some of the most intriguing spring training battles for the Twins are the race for the starting center fielder job and for the last spot in the rotation. Two of the best prospects for the Twins are in the middle of these battles and they both have been putting together decent starts this spring. But even if the rest of the spring goes great for Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson, they could be destined to start the year in Rochester.

    There are a few different reasons to think that the Twins will be patient with these two young players. irst, there is opportunity. The team isn't suppose to be contending in 2013 or maybe even 2014. This means there is no rush to get either of these men to the big leagues. They can both be given the opportunity to find success at Triple-A.

    Second, long-term control and money is a factor.

    If the team waits until a few months into the season, they can control these players for an extra season. There are also rules in place for players that get called up in the first couple months of the season to let them reach arbitration as a super two player. The Twins could avoid some of this hassle by letting other players take their spot on the roster until the middle part of the year.

    Finally, each player's history suggests a slower immersion could be beneficial. Hicks has a history of slow starts when he advances to a new level. He played all of last season at the Double-A level so making a two level jump could be hard on him. The team has been very patient with him up until this point and it makes a lot of sense for the club to continue their patient ways.

    The Twins have been clear that Gibson will be on an innings limit this season. It is his first full year back from Tommy John surgery and it is important to be cautious with a young arm. If the Twins want to control his innings at the beginning of the year, it will be easier to do this in Rochester. They don't want a player in the major league starting rotation that has to be pulled early to keep his innings down.

    Within the organization, there might be some debate. While the front office might want Hicks and Gibson to get a little more experience, the manager might not be in a position to wait for the future. Ron Gardenhire is in the last year of his deal and he can't really afford for the club to get off to a slow start. He has said that he wants Hicks to have a shot to start and Gibson has a brighter future than some of the other rotation options.

    With the moves the Twins have made this offseason, their farm system is considered one of the best in the game. Most of their top-level talent hasn't made appearance above the Double-A level. For now, it looks like a waiting game as these players work their way through the minor leagues.

    So when will the next winning team grace fans at Target Field?

    The estimated arrival time for Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Trevor May, and Byron Buxton might not be until 2014, 2015 or 2016. If those players make up the core of the next winning Twins team, it might be best to still have multiple years of control over Gibson and Hicks.

    There are going to be reasons to keep Gibson and Hicks with the big league team for the start of the year. However, the reasons to keep them in the minor leagues might outweigh those that are in favor of keeping them up.

    So what do you think? If Gibson and Hicks earn the jobs, should they start the year in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
    This article was originally published in blog: Gibson, Hicks might be destined for Rochester started by Cody Christie
    Comments 128 Comments
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      I feel like I've been here before....
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      You know that Hicks & Gibson could be a reason for more loses than wins in April too.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      Settle down, you're not being persecuted here.
      We're going to have to start piling up the Messiahs here shortly, we're getting so overstocked with them.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      I have said this on a few different threads but ill say it again...Mike Trout had one of the best seasons in past 30 years [or so my geek friends tell me (WAR)] and did not break camp with the angels because of service time. It is not just a money thing. It is about one month in the minors versuses one less year of service when a guy is 27-28 years old. Wil myers will start in AAA, Bryce Harper started the year in AAA.

      The other argument is: are these guys even ready? Hicks has no at bats over AA so sending him to AAA and getting at bats there is what most teams would do.

      As far as Gibbie goes, he could get roughly 5 starts before being called up. I dont see any harm in 5 milb starts
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Han Joelo, BJ Upton OPS'd .915 at 19 years old between AA and AAA. Hicks, OPS'd .735 in low A at 19. Different players, different developments. Also, BJ Upton is a great example of a prospect with an extremely high ceiling that has not lived up to it. He is still a pretty good player, but his career OPS in the minors is .844 and majors is .758. Everyone beating down the door for Hicks needs some perspective on this.

      He has a chance to be a good player. Everyone that is sold on him and want him in CF for years to come should want another year he doesn't get paid 15 million dollars too then. I don't really expect him to hit very well so my expectations for him are much lower. Still, a good option for CF in the long run since he will play elite defense. These arguments to see him come north are emotional arguments. They make no sense. Baseball is a business, and if I was running the team I'd make sure to be clear to JR that Hicks will not see the MLB until May at the earliest. "Saving a couple million" is a pretty big deal. People with that kind of money make smart decisions with money not emotional ones.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Han Joelo View Post
      So, let's say B.J. Upton has a truly stupendous breakout year. Are you saying the Rays (the paragon of well run organizations for so many) would have been smarter to stash him in the minor leagues for a couple of more years, so as to have preserved his cost controlled prime? I have a fuzzy memory of him mashing in the playoffs as an unprimed 23 year old...

      Please rebut with an argument or examples that go beyond "You are an idiot if you don't see things my way." Here's a couple of lobs which might work out in your favor if you have the time to research. Cano and Ellsbury. Pending free agents. Are the Yanks/Sox better or worse off (or neither) based on how they handled the pre-arb years? I'm truly curious. Could the Yankees put off the looming mega-payday by one more year had they done things differently?
      Cano and elsbury were brought up in May and June respectively. Soooo...
    1. shs_59's Avatar
      shs_59 -
      One thing for sure though, if Gibson is 3/4 Ths as good as Kris Medlen we will make the playoffs in 2014.

      Seriously dude is Maddox 2.0. Nearly unhittable.
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cody Christie View Post
      They should be headed to Rochester for a while to keep the ARB clock from starting. Why would you waste service time when the Twins made it clear with their off season moves that this year will be another repeat of last year. Let the poor Pohlad boys save some more money...
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinscowboysbulls View Post
      I'm torn. I want them in Minneapolis, but as far as we know we won't contend this year. If that's the case, what is the point in starting their clocks early? The later the better. Bring them both up in June unless we truly believe we can contend with this team, which is what I think we all want to believe.
      Not to be negative, but if the Twins are contending with this team the end of the world must be near.
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Have you found someone who does?
      Gardy & Terry Ryan would be the first that come to mind.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Quote Originally Posted by darin617 View Post
      Not to be negative, but if the Twins are contending with this team the end of the world must be near.
      I shudder to think what you would post if you wanted to be negative.
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
      Cano and elsbury were brought up in May and June respectively. Soooo...
      So are you telling me that Boston & NYY know how to use the system but people think the Twins don't need to?
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by shs_59 View Post
      One thing for sure though, if Gibson is 3/4 Ths as good as Kris Medlen we will make the playoffs in 2014.

      Seriously dude is Maddox 2.0. Nearly unhittable.
      Maddux 2.0? Really, come on man. totally different pitcher and let him do it for more than one season and the you can still never compare the 2.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Glunn, you messed up his posts. He would have had 5 in a row. Reminds me of statfreak. Speaking of statfreak.... Brock, have you seen his IP address pop up here yet? I would love to have him back!
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      If the Twins send Hicks to AAA, then they should give Joe Benson a real shot at CF, and have Mastrioanni be the fourth outfielder. Only problem then is, who will be the lead-off? Maybe that's why they're trying out Benson in the first slot.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      "Is he ready [for the majors]"? We won't know for at least a year or two--as a major league player. "Control this guy"! If the Twins are going to continue to think like a small market team--they will be trading these guys off by the end of their 5th year anyway. Ryan's departure had a lot to do with retaining Hunter and Santana for '07, when trading them after the '06 season made far more financial sense--and likely would have fetched better returns. I think he (and the executive committee) learned their lesson. There will only be one "Joe Mauer" on the Twins at a time.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      Glunn, you messed up his posts. He would have had 5 in a row. Reminds me of statfreak. Speaking of statfreak.... Brock, have you seen his IP address pop up here yet? I would love to have him back!
      All I want is one good "Season Over!" rant and I'll be happy.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      All I want is one good "Season Over!" rant and I'll be happy.
      He got under the skin of collection of snarky, thick-skinned jerks. I can't even fathom how the lot around here would react to him.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      He got under the skin of collection of snarky, thick-skinned jerks. I can't even fathom how the lot around here would react to him.
      "If the Twins come back from 3 games down with 4 to play I will leave this site forever"
    1. panolo's Avatar
      panolo -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Have you found someone who does?
      Kool aid drinkers everywhere my friend.
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