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Thread: Article: Second Chance for Aaron Hicks

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
    I wonder why his walk rate was so much better from the left side but his average was so much better from the other side.



    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    Good food for thought, but I've got no answers.
    How about 296 feet down the line?


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  3. #42
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    How about 296 feet down the line?
    That's certainly one possibility.


    I wonder what his spray charts would have looked like from each side.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  4. #43
    Senior Member Double-A chuchadoro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    Sure, we're all fans. I'm just saying that the Twins have likely never considered it. Certainly not publically.
    Of course we're all fans but some of us would be considered popular Twins bloggers first and foremost (hint: not me). Your response to the idea of Hicks abandoning switch hitting just seemed a little dismissive, as if it was a laughable suggestion made only by fans who don't know ISOp from Ice T. I apologize if I inferred too much from your statement, I just wanted to point out Nick's blog post from six months ago asking the same question.

    Hicks was bad as a lefty at A, A+ and last year. He was pretty good in New Britain in 2012. Maybe not a lost cause but not much to get my hopes up from the numbers I've looked at. How much can Hicks improve as a lefty? Is it too late in his career to abandon switch hitting? Could he actually be any worse taking his natural right handed cut vs RHP? I think these are worthy questions (plus FA is over and ST hasn't started yet. There are only so many prospect lists one can look at).

  5. #44
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I'm with ABJ. I don't think 2013 was a lost year. It was a learning experience for sure. And there were some ugly stretches. But man they asked a lot of him! I think their plan was to give him frequent breaks with Mastro, but he got hurt on the last day of spring.

    So there's Hicks taking his five at bats out of the lead-off hole with no one to back him up against some of the toughest pitching in baseball. Not to make excuses, but this was mostly on the Twins for asking too much of him. To his credit, he also showed some resilience and an ability to make adjustments. It didn't show up in the numbers so much because his hole was so deep to start the year. But if you throw out his first soul crushing slump, he wasn't bad.

    It'll be interesting to see how they handle him out of spring training. Roster spots might be tough to come by (with Kubel, Bartlett and Guerrier still needing spots), and Hicks and Presley are the only guys who can play center on the 40 man. If the season started today, they would both be on the roster. And if you're going to do that, Hicks needs to be the starter.

    Most people around here around here assume (me included) that he'll go back to AAA to earn his way up. But they didn't force Dozier to do that last year. Instead, they gave him a new position and threw him back in the fire. For the first two months, that experiment was not looking too good. But they were patient. And they were rewarded for their patience.

    Let's say they make him the starter and ask him to hit 9th until he can earn his way back to the top of the order. Presley can be the guy Mastro was not able to be last year, giving Hicks breaks from the grind. Seems like a reasonable approach to me.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  7. #45
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    I don't buy the whole leadoff vs 9th thing.....but if he's a future very good MLB player, that shouldn't be an issue for him. If it is, then maybe he's not really cut out to be a good MLB player. But then, maybe I underestimate the pressure.....

    But none of that has anything to do with this lefty righty splits.
    Lighten up Francis....

  8. #46
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    cmat - can you see scenarios in which Guerrier and/or Bartlett make the opening day roster?

  9. #47
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    cmat - can you see scenarios in which Guerrier and/or Bartlett make the opening day roster?
    Guerrier probably needs more rehab, come to think of it. But I give Bartlett a better than 50% shot. I probably am the only person around here so optimistic, but the Twins sure liked what they saw of him when he worked out for them. If he is anything like the guy he was in TB, he's the best shortstop in the organization. Big if, I know.

    Perhaps it is wishful thinking. Reading between the lines, I think the Twins expect him to make the team. They have told Florimon that he will have to earn his job back. Ryan has said it is a four-way competition, giving Bartlett and Santana more props than I would have. We'll see.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    cmat - can you see scenarios in which Guerrier and/or Bartlett make the opening day roster?
    I certainly don't think it's likely, especially for Bartlett. It's always a little more likely to shuffle things around in the bullpen, but unless Guerrier really looks great he's unlikely to crack the team either. Injuries combined with superior spring training performance are the only ways either is going to go north with the team.

  11. #49
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huhguy View Post
    Is what if he has a superman spring...he will still be sent down to AAA because once again we wont know if its real...
    What better options do the Twins have? I think the only reason to send him down to AAA is to develop his hitting further. I think he starts the season with the big league club with a short leash.

  12. #50
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    Someone should inform Hicks that a discussion about him also included a discussion about Mickey Mantle. That should be a confidence boost!

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  14. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmlease1 View Post
    I certainly don't think it's likely, especially for Bartlett. It's always a little more likely to shuffle things around in the bullpen, but unless Guerrier really looks great he's unlikely to crack the team either. Injuries combined with superior spring training performance are the only ways either is going to go north with the team.
    I think it comes down to his health. If he is healthy, he has a good shot. The bar in my eyes is a AA/AAA SS in Florimon. Bartlett has put together several seasons that I personally think Florimon is not capable of:

    2006 - .760 OPS
    2007 - .699 OPS
    2009 - .875 OPS
    2010 - .675 OPS

    It is tough to look at Bartlett's 2012 numbers as he only had 98 PA. But even his bad 2011 with a .615 OPS was better than Florimon's career OPS of .603.

  15. #52
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I think it comes down to his health. If he is healthy, he has a good shot. The bar in my eyes is a AA/AAA SS in Florimon. Bartlett has put together several seasons that I personally think Florimon is not capable of:

    2006 - .760 OPS
    2007 - .699 OPS
    2009 - .875 OPS
    2010 - .675 OPS

    It is tough to look at Bartlett's 2012 numbers as he only had 98 PA. But even his bad 2011 with a .615 OPS was better than Florimon's career OPS of .603.
    Right. Bartlett's a .702 career OPS player. He's an 18.6 career WAR player. Forimon is about replacement level. If Bartlett is healthy (which he is, according to reports) for the first time in two years, he could easily win the job.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  16. #53
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Someone should inform Hicks that a discussion about him also included a discussion about Mickey Mantle. That should be a confidence boost!
    Also Mozart, Einstein, Da Vinci, and Neil Armstrong.

    The five tools, apparently:
    • write music
    • think up equations
    • draw real good
    • fly real high
    • play baseball
    Last edited by ashburyjohn; 02-12-2014 at 11:46 AM.

  17. #54
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    "Most people around here around here assume (me included) that he'll go back to AAA to earn his way up." I said he should ideally do that but ideal would mean someone better than Pressley to hold the spot. I am generally in favor of everyone proving (or reproving themselves in the minors before the major league promotion). For your reasons I am in favor of just putting Hicks out there again.

  18. #55
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    cmat - can you see scenarios in which Guerrier and/or Bartlett make the opening day roster?
    As far as Bartlett goes, a day ago, I'd say no way, but based on what LEN3 is reporting out of Fort Myers today and the fact that Gardy likes him, I think that there is a possibility.

    I don't think that Guerrier will be healthy enough to be ready by opening day.
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  19. #56
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    To paraphrase from Princess Bride.
    Vizzini: I can't compete with you physically, and you're no match for my brains. Man in Black: You're that smart?
    Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Mozart, Einstein, Da Vinci, and Neil Armstrong ?
    Man in Black: Yes.
    Vizzini: Morons.

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  21. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    As far as Bartlett goes, a day ago, I'd say no way, but based on what LEN3 is reporting out of Fort Myers today and the fact that Gardy likes him, I think that there is a possibility.

    I don't think that Guerrier will be healthy enough to be ready by opening day.
    LEN3 showed up today. I haven't read his report, but Bartlett's been here quite awhile. He's been working hard and looking good. He eventually would like to coach, but is trying to make the team and I'd give him a really good shot at that. Jason knows what it takes and has kind of taken his own approach to get there. For instance yesterday he skipped bp and worked with the medicine ball and then took infield on the half field, fielding alot of ground balls. When he does bp he's hitting line drives. I give him the edge to be on the team.

  22. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
    LEN3 showed up today. I haven't read his report, but Bartlett's been here quite awhile. He's been working hard and looking good. He eventually would like to coach, but is trying to make the team and I'd give him a really good shot at that. Jason knows what it takes and has kind of taken his own approach to get there. For instance yesterday he skipped bp and worked with the medicine ball and then took infield on the half field, fielding alot of ground balls.

    When he does bp he's hitting line drives. I give him the edge to be on the team.

    Can you extrapolate one step further, Halsey? Is he looking good enough to fill the Jamey Carroll utility role, or is he regaining some semblance of his game level from 2009?

  23. #59
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    At the risk of beating the topic to death, repeating myself from previous posts as well as echoing others here, Hicks has always been a very talented player, well thought of, and a top prospect. One poor, somewhat injury filled and rushed season should not make some so quick to judge his future. As has been pointed out, he obviously is not the first or last young player to stumble upon first introduction to MLB.

    Hicks has reportedly shown a pattern his entire young career with taking some time to "catch up" to his level, starting slowly at first. 2009 and 2010 at Beloit are full season examples where he produced OK numbers the first year, and greatly improved all numbers the following year. 2011 was rather disappointing at high A, before rebounding in a BIG way in 2012 at AA. As has been pointed out here previously, after an initial awful beginning to last season, he was actually showing improvement at the plate last season before injuries seemed to stall him. I wonder how we might be talking about Mr. Hicks at this point if he had better health last season and had continued to improve over the course of the season, even if slowly.

    I know this, if he can't set the world on fire, but can hold his own, gain experience, growth and development and simply provide excellent defense in CF, and hit even in the .240 range with an OB% above .300 with double digit HR's, 20+SB's, push 30 DBL's or so, he is an asset for our club near the bottom of the order. Not only for some power and speed, but for the defense he brings to our pitching staff, as well as allowing Presley to play LF, more appropriate for his skill level, and keeps Willingham mostly at DH and not in the field.

    Now, as to the future, I think he's more than capable of a great deal more. But for now, I'd be very happy with that kind of production for 2014. I think the entire club is made better by his presence.

  24. #60
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Guerrier was brought in for some insurance, not a bad thing, but insurance for after the season starts as I doubt he's even ready for opening day. Which is fine. Unless we are hit by a rash of injuries, I feel we're deep enough to withstand a bruise or strain or two to the bullpen arms in ST.

    As for Bartlett, I felt he was a cheap, risk-free signing to compete for a bench spot. Probably after spending some time getting additional at bats at AAA shaking off rust. But if he is truly healthy, and can be something close to the player he was before 2011 it would be a big boost for the team in general. Not only for some speed and a solid bat and plate discipline, but as an experienced and calming influence on the field and in the dugout. He couldn't do enough to hope to pull the Twins over the top of some magic summit, but he could nudge a few players and the Twins record further up the slope toward the top of that peak.

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