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Aaron Hicks & the Rock Cats, Twins Baseball & the Future, & the SethSpeaks Podcast

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Thus far, good things are coming out of New Britain

[Originally published at Twins Fan From Afar]

A few unrelated items this morning. First, if you missed it, yesterday I wrote about Alex Wimmers' first AA Rock Cats start that took place Monday night, and Aaron Hicks' monster game that helped give the Rock Cats a big victory. This morning, the good news coming out of New Britain, despite a 7-2 loss to the Harrisburg Senators last night, was that top prospect Aaron Hicks was 2-for-4 with another home run. That's two home runs in two days, and the latest came batting lefty, which is the weaker side for Hicks. A batting average that was a laughable .077 just a couple days ago is now .250, and Hicks is 4 for his last 8, with 5 RBIs in just two games. Clearly, when he's "on," his bat can lead a team. We're all looking for consistency from Hicks, so hopefully these past couple games are a sign of things to come. Whether the Twins decide to keep him as part of the projected 2014-2015 "new look outfield" that's easy to imagine being fantastic (with Joe Benson, too), or whether the organization eventually tries to package him in a trade for some kind of power starting pitching, it's an incredibly important season for Hicks in terms of development and career trajectory. The final Rock Cats note for this morning concerns middle infield depth. Pedro Florimon is off to a fast start for New Britain, with a .400/.429/.450 slash line in his first 20 at-bats, and has looked solid in the field from what I have seen. I don't expect too much from him in terms of what he could do for the Twins, but it's nice to see him start off hot.

Second, how about those Minnesota Twins? I've barely been discussing them lately. Between the pathetic offense (except Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham) and the fact that Scott Baker is already out indefinitely, I feel like we're in for a long season. Yes, I know that 4 games is nothing, and tonight the Twins could easily start a 4-game winning streak. That's just how baseball works. But the pitching has me worried for the long-term, and that hasn't even been the weak point for this team thus far.

A lot of fans are concerned with the depth of the Twins' minor league system, and rightfully so. Here's a question for you: What if the Twins stink again this season? I don't mean winning 78 or 80 games, but more like winning 65 or 68. What if they can secure a top 3 pick in the 2013 draft? Between this year's #2 overall pick and a top selection next season, the Twins could have a rare opportunity to add top-shelf draft talent, which would complement some of the exciting players, like Miguel Sano, that are coming up through the organization.

In other words, if you agree with me that this is not a playoff team in 2012, even with a healthy Scott Baker and Joe Mauer, would you rather watch an 81-81 season, or would you prefer to see a bad season in which the team unloaded some players before they hit free agency, and was able to secure a top pick next year? It's an interesting discussion, anyway.

Finally, I was thrilled to be a guest on Seth Stohs' SethSpeaks Weekly Twins Podcast. I talked Rock Cats baseball for 10 minutes or so, and was happy for the opportunity to do so. Seth had me on right after Brian Dozier finished up. A tough act to follow! Dozier sounds like a great guy, and I believe he's ready to take over at shortstop right about now. If you didn't listen to the podcast live, you can listen any time by clicking here.

Updated 04-11-2012 at 08:25 AM by Twins Fan From Afar



  1. nicksaviking's Avatar
    In response to the question regarding a .500 record or trading for vets for 'specs, I think there's no debate. Fans are already on the ledge, a .500 record isn't going to appease anyone, might as well try to reload with some near MLB ready arms that actually have some upside and a K/9 rate north of 7.5.

    Won't happen though. The front office is pretty stubborn, they hold onto hot players, wait for their stock to cool then let Gardy declare them to the league as a clubhouse cancer. If TR was wise, he'd tell Gardy his next negative comment about his potential doghouse trade chips (Valencia? Revere? Liriano? Baker?) will be his last. The organization can give Gardy slack for poor play now, but only if he plays ball and stops denigrating anyone the team might like to move. Other clubs praise their players before trying to move them. It's a no-brainer business move, however, Gardy instead has helped to torpedo Young, Slowey, Hardy, Bartlet and Lohse's trade values, it can't happen again.
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