While Walker has driven in each of his runs for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Hicks has spent a quarter of his season with the Ft. Myers Miracle. He has 21 RBI with the Miracle after knocking in 82 runs with the Kernels.
During the first half of the season, the two sluggers benefited from hitting in the middle of a lineup that including Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco setting the table. Walker, the Twins 3rd round pick in 2012 out of Jacksonville Univeristy, has hit 29 doubles, seven triples and 26 home runs. Hicks, a lumbering first baseman drafted in the 17th round of the 2012 draft out of Central Florida, has hit a combined 37 doubles to go with 17 home runs.
We frequently talk about how RBI are so much dependent upon those hitting in front of the batter. I do believe that RBI can be overrated, but as we watch a Twins team struggling to hit with runners in scoring position, I think it's important to remember that someone needs to drive run in!
The two become the 33rd and 34th Twins minor leaguers since 1980 to have a 100 RBI season. The list of names below tell us that RBI is certainly not a indicator of future big league success. (However, it is fun at times to go into the Way Back Machine and read about names we may not have thought about in years.)
|2013||Adam Walker||106+||Cedar Rapids|
|2013||Dalton Hicks||103+||Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers|
|2004||Kevin West||109||New Britain/Rochester|
|2004||Jason Kubel||100||New Britain/Rochester|
|2000||Brian Buchanan||103||Salt Lake|
|1999||David Ortiz||110||Salt Lake|
|1999||Michael Restovich||107||Quad Cities|
|1999||Steve Hacker||100||New Britain, Salt Lake|
|1998||Tommy Peterman||110||Ft. Myers|
|1998||Corey Koskie||105||Salt Lake|
|1996||Todd Walker||101||Salt Lake|
|1994||Bernardo Brito||122||Salt Lake|
There are a few guys on that list that have a couple of World Series rings and tremendous careers. There are several players who never got a taste of the big leagues.
Miguel Sano is currently at 94 RBI, so there is a chance that he will hit the century mark for a second straight year. Kennys Vargas currently has 86 RBI and would need a torrid stretch to get there, but it's possible. I'm sure people reading this will also be excited to hear that Scott Ullger drove in 108 runs for Visalia.
Next season, Walker should join Hicks in the Ft. Myers lineup to start the season. However, I would anticipate that both will be up in New Britain by season's end, maybe even by the All Star break.