|Aaron Hicks has|
two extra-base hits
so far this season.
But as bad as those numbers are, they beat the devil out of where the rookie center fielder was after April 13, the last game in the leadoff slot. At that point Hicks had a slash line of .047/.109/.047, and there are few pitchers who hit that poorly. (The average pitcher hits about .130 these days.)
Ten games ago, Ron Gardenhire flip-flopped Hicks and Brian Dozier in the batting order. Hicks dropped to the eighth slot, Dozier to the leadoff slot.
In the 10 games since he was dropped to the bottom of the order, Hicks' slash line is .214/.361/.250 -- still poor batting average, still little power, but a fine on-base percentage. He has in that period six hits, seven walks and one hit-by-pitch and has reached base at least once each game. He also has more walks than strikeouts.
|Brian Dozier is|
for the season.
Dozier has also improved since the switch. In 10 games as the No. 8 hitter, Dozier hit .152/.237/.212. In 10 games as the leadoff man, he's at .286/.311/.357 -- which isn't going to get him on any All-Star teams, but is good enough to stick with the current program.
I fully expect that if and when Hicks starts contributing more at the plate than a few walks, he'll return to the leadoff job. I saw establishing Hicks as the center fielder and leadoff hitter as one of the Twins primary goals this season, and I don't think Dozier is the leadoff man of the future.