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Thread: Article: Aaron Hicks and Rebounding

  1. #21
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
    I do remember cautioning that Hicks wasn't the player that he showed in spring training just like I cautioned in 2011 the Valencia wasn't going to bat .350 for a whole season.. I don't think I objected to him making the team to start the season but I do remember the VAST majority of the Strib posters being very adamant that Hicks should be the Twins Opening Day centerfielder so either your memory was faulty or you were on different boards than I was.
    Well, I was on this board, which has mixed feelings about everything right down to what day it is today. If you ask around I'm sure you'll find someone who has very strong feelings about the Julian calendar.

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  3. #22
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    In my Best Quotes article yesterday, I included Hicks' comments about not playing winter ball. Needed a break. Mentally as much as physically. Didn't want to jump from such a bad place right in another season. I tend to agree. Needed to clear his mind.

  4. #23
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    I think I've posted this before in other threads on Aaron Hicks but if you throw out those awful first ten games, he still put up odd looking numbers but for the OPS buff, they were at least "ok" April 15th - July 31st.

    .222/.290/.397/.687

    He still had a 3 - 1 K/BB ratio which sucks but he put some power out there took a few more walks and at least made some contact. It wouldn't take a lot for him to switch that to a 260/.330/.420 line. A little more discipline and a little more luck on BABIP could get him there. I'm confident he'll be much better this year. May never be an allstar but I think he can at least be a solid role player.

    .222 .290 .397 .687

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  6. #24
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    Also, Denard Span's OPS over the past four years is .703 to give a little context.

  7. #25
    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Well, I was on this board, which has mixed feelings about everything right down to what day it is today. If you ask around I'm sure you'll find someone who has very strong feelings about the Julian calendar.
    First of all, the Julian calendar is highly overrated...

    I know that we're all hoping Hicks turns it around this year. I saw a lot of games that he played in last year (more than I probably want to admit). Hicks definitely showed flashes last year. I'm expecting a rebound from him this year. I'm not saying he's going to be a MVP candidate next year, but I'm expecting him to kick it up closer to his minor league numbers next year.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

  8. #26
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    I feel that Hicks was put in a position to fail from the start. Not only did he skip AAA, but he was thrust right into the leadoff spot. Hitting leadoff may not seem like much, but to a young kid who likely isn't even ready for the big leagues, it's additional pressure.

    His slash line in the leadoff spot was .047/.109/.047 (.156 OPS) with a 43% K rate. I'm sure a lot of that had to do with adjusting to the league along with facing the likes of Verlander(as some pointed out), but I don't think the additional pressure of leading off helped.

    When moved down in the lineup his OPS hovered around .700 and his K rate dropped under 25%.

    I think Hicks will be an above average player for years to come with some good years in his prime. His K% will always keep his batting average down, but his skill set of speed, defense, power and plate discipline will make him quite valuable.

    .240/.320/.400 with 20+ SB and plus defense(especially at a corner) is about what I'd expect from him.

    I think the perfect comp to Hicks is Chris Young. They have an almost identical skill set. They also both struggle against RH pitching and mash LH pitching.

  9. #27
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
    I think the perfect comp to Hicks is Chris Young. They have an almost identical skill set. They also both struggle against RH pitching and mash LH pitching.
    I like this comp for accuracy and the insight behind it. But I'm not sure I'm encouraged that it's the right comp......

  10. #28
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    In my Best Quotes article yesterday, I included Hicks' comments about not playing winter ball. Needed a break. Mentally as much as physically. Didn't want to jump from such a bad place right in another season. I tend to agree. Needed to clear his mind.
    After the catastrophe that was 2013, I don't blame him. Sometimes, the best "fix" for a problem is to sit back and reflect on it for a bit. Continuing to hammer your head against the wall isn't a good solution.

  11. #29
    I think he should start at triple A again this year and bring him up soon as he shows that he his ready for majors also keep expectations off him when he arrives. I still think he play into twins future as corner outfield if he can bring same numbers he has from minors to majors. He with Buxton in outfield would make it one of very good defensive outfields and will help cover for Arcia who will be in the outfield but will be playing more for his bat than his defensive abilities. With Hicks and Buxton the centerfielder can cheat more to position that Arcia is in because Hicks could cover the gap left by cheating the other way for Arcia. I think if Hicks develops numbers he has in minors he will be one of better outfielders in the Majors.

  12. #30
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    Disagreeing with the group-think syndrome--Hicks wasn't rushed! He spent nearly 5 full years in the Twins system before April 2013. This is like any college athlete including a red-shirt season. Rookies in any sport typically struggle--and we should expect it--irrespective of how many years are spent in "developmental leagues". There is something of a "Rookie hazing" in MLB (other sports too)--many a "close" pitch was a called strike for Hicks. Hicks' difficulties were magnified by batting him leadoff and being "encouraged" to take pitches, to work the count (and the pitcher). I am convinced Hicks would have performed much better if slotted 8th or 9th in the lineup rather than 1st.

    Other indications about Hicks and his "struggles". Hicks was assigned to extended Spring training (in his first full-season) to convert him to a switch-hitter. This should have been noticed as a huge red flag, that hicks really wasn't an heir apparent to Hunter. Hicks was a 1st round choice. If there was (is!) a problem with breaking balls from RHPs, it should have been noticed before he was drafted--and be fully incorporated in his pre-draft evaluation. Ergo, Hicks was over evaluated and likely shouldn't have been a first round selection. To me, there were plenty of indicators that Hicks would struggle at first, especially when tasked as a leadoff hitter, and Hicks knowing full well that Buxton was deemed "the future". There is also way too much faith in experience at Rochester as a precursor to success at Minnesota especially in light of the numerous examples of "struggling players" to outright flops that have come through the Twins system.

    Finally, (signals end of my rant!) Hunter wasn't an example of an "overwhelmed player" examined the stated statistics of the article. Hunter was "disciplined"--and he responded with the hoped-for ferocity in his performance when he wasted restored to the active roster. Hicks would be an example of "overwhelmed", but not Hunter.

  13. #31
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Hicks began switch-hitting in high school.

  14. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
    ...His future is not in a corner outfield spot as he will likely never produce offensively enough to realize maximum value or highest and best use.
    Offensively, I agree. I still think he has a chance to stick as a corner outfielder because of his superb defensive skills. The Twins signed three new starting pitchers (plus Pelfrey) who pitch to contact, and the Twins will need the best defense they can put on the field in order to keep opponents from scoring.

  15. #33
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    Hicks would be the best defensive outfielder on the roster right now and I would argue the 2nd best overall outfielder on the roster behind Arcia. So he had a bad half season. Its not like this team is stocked with offensive weapons. Cripes, Dozier hits .245 and people are calling him the next Joe Morgan. Give the kid a chance and he'll bounce back. I'll give you that he got off to a horrendous start but he was actually starting to stabilze when they sent him down. Its WAY too soon to cut bait with Hicks.

  16. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I like this comp for accuracy and the insight behind it. But I'm not sure I'm encouraged that it's the right comp......
    Shouldn't be discouraged. Chris Young was/is an above average baseball player. Perhaps he is in decline, but his last six years he's been worth 13.7 WAR. I'd take that kind of value out of Hicks.

  17. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
    Shouldn't be discouraged. Chris Young was/is an above average baseball player. Perhaps he is in decline, but his last six years he's been worth 13.7 WAR. I'd take that kind of value out of Hicks.
    Good comp in many ways, but I think even that might be shooting high. Similar timeline, but Young hit 32 homers in his age-23 season as a rookie compared to what Hicks did last year. Hicks will never have as much power, but might post some better OBPs in time. If he ends up pushed to a corner due to Buxton, it's hard to see Hicks' bat profiling well in a corner (despite some great D, I'm assuming). I'd be happy to see like 2/3 of that WAR total...

  18. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    Good comp in many ways, but I think even that might be shooting high. Similar timeline, but Young hit 32 homers in his age-23 season as a rookie compared to what Hicks did last year. Hicks will never have as much power, but might post some better OBPs in time. If he ends up pushed to a corner due to Buxton, it's hard to see Hicks' bat profiling well in a corner (despite some great D, I'm assuming). I'd be happy to see like 2/3 of that WAR total...
    I agree that Young has more power. That's why I had Hicks' isoP at .160 in my projection compared to Young's .196 career isoP.

    If that projection holds true, once you factor in park adjustment and run scoring environment, they'd come out to be similar players.

  19. #37
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    What about De Aza as a comp? Similar age/level progression, similar early struggles, similar BB/K profiles. Hicks probably has a hint more power.

  20. #38
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    He may rebound and have a nice career at CF but it will be on another team. Unfortunately for Hicks I feel his window is closing too quickly. Buxton could move up quickly enough to only give Hicks short time as a starter. Additionally, his bat does not seem powerful enough to play a corner outfield spot. My hope is that he rebounds so he has the highest trade value because he will be on the blocks by sometime in 2015.

  21. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Penz View Post
    He may rebound and have a nice career at CF but it will be on another team. Unfortunately for Hicks I feel his window is closing too quickly. Buxton could move up quickly enough to only give Hicks short time as a starter. Additionally, his bat does not seem powerful enough to play a corner outfield spot. My hope is that he rebounds so he has the highest trade value because he will be on the blocks by sometime in 2015.
    Exactly! I think that Hicks should be extended the opportunity to prove himself as a good, everyday MLB CF, so he can be traded for some real value. The Revere trade was based on a huge need to immediately address the weakness in the rotation. Given the FA pitchers signed, and the other pitching "prospects" gleaned the past two years, the Twins can focus on needs elsewhere. Or, a trade of Hicks (assuming he succeeds as a CF) and other Twins prospect(s) for a high-quality veteran at a position (even SP!) of need.

  22. #40
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I wouldn't rule out a corner job. He has the raw power. If he improves his pitch selection, he could be a decent corner guy, with his glove and arm as value adds.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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