Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hicks' throw

Another frustrating loss for the Twins — they outhit the Yankees Friday but couldn't plate any of their base runners.

But here's a positive for the Twins: a very impressive throw from Aaron Hicks to gun down Vernon Wells trying for a triple.

To be sure: If Hicks had cleanly played the carom off the wall, Wells probably doesn't try for third base. And when the ball got past Hicks, it so happened that Hicks, in retrieving the ball, had his momentum going in the direction of his throw. And he admitted to reporters after the game that he was trying to hit the cutoff man, not throw all the way to third base. The wet ball got away from him.

Still — it was something to see. The throw had Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeting that Hicks has a "Top 3" outfielder arm.

And it had me comparing Hicks' arm to that of the legendary Roberto Clemente.

This is not a comparison I make lightly. Clemente probably had the greatest throwing arm of any outfielder in history.

I found, as part of a much longer video on Clemente, footage of a throw he made during the 1971 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles: A fly ball that he tracked down headed toward the right field foul line, after which he stopped, spun and threw to third to nail an Oriole trying to advance. It was probably a shorter throw than Hicks' throw Friday night, but Clemente was working against his momentum.

Nobody should doubt the quality of Hicks' throwing tool.

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