|Aaron Hicks: His OBP|
for the season is .341, but
his SLG is a dismal .275.
Plus, it's September, and there's an adage that claims the worst times to evaluate a player are September and spring training.
Still, that's what we have to work with in gauging Hicks' status. And it's worth noting that this September for the Twins has not been filled with series against other out-of-the-chase teams playing out the schedule.
At any rate, Hicks is 7-for-23 this month, a .304 average, with a couple of walks tossed in to boost the on-base percentage to a healthy .360. He has raised his major league average for the season above the .200 mark -- not good, certainly, but somewhat less embarrassing than the .180-something he has generally carried.
And the switch-hitter has had, in his limited left-handed at-bats -- his pronounced weaker side -- three RBI hits, notable for their previous rarity
It's a small sample size, to be sure, but there may be hope yet for the outfielder. Nobody who has seen him can doubt the tools, but he was, in retrospect, not ready to hit the majors last year, and his premature rise appears to have been a significant detriment.
Still, the Twins have openings for him to fill. The one certainty about their 2015 outfield plans is Oswaldo Arcia in right field. Danny Santana might be an outfielder next year or he might be a shortstop or he might continue to be a combination of the two.
And then there's Hicks and Jordan Schafer and Chris Parmelee -- and, although not a likely Opening Day candidate, Byron Buxton. The Twins might bring in a veteran outfielder this offseason, but right now I'm optimistic enough about Hicks that I hope they stick with the current bunch and go young. Whether I'll still be inclined that way by November is another matter.