Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The apparent return of Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks gets
one more (final?)
The word out of Rochester Monday night was that Aaron Hicks had been called up. There was no official announcement by the Twins, and no report on what the corresponding move would be.

Hicks is sporting impressive numbers in Triple A with a slash line of .330/.412/.553. Those numbers don't tell us how much of that is coming from the left side of the plate, long a problem for the switch-hitter. Nor do they tell us whether he's gotten better about such details as remembering how many outs there are or which base to throw to.

Presumably this is his last chance with the Twins, and the leash is likely to be, and should be, short. He's out of options after this season, and no matter what he does in this go-around, he's not the Twins center fielder of the future. That's Bryon Buxton's role, and Buxton's time might come around the All-Star break. In the long run, Hicks is competing with Oswaldo Arcia and Eddie Rosario. In my mind, he's already lost that competition.

My opinion (which is not infallible): Hicks won't hit enough to be a regular center fielder in the majors -- and certainly not enough to be a regular corner outfielder. If he pulls the kind of rocks he did in spring training, he won't even stick as a fourth outfielder.

As for the corresponding move, there are plenty of possiblities. Jordan Schafer's been playing on a bad leg since the season started, and maybe he's going on the DL. I can imagine the Twins shipping Eddie Rosario back to Rochester after his fielding woes on Sunday, Dropping Shane Robinson is a possibility, since he and Hicks are somewhat redundant, but the fact is Hicks has never looked as good in the majors as Robinson has in the first five weeks. What Hicks does well, Robinson does just as well, and more consistently.

My predictions: Schafer's going on the shelf. Rosario will stay until Arcia is ready to return. Hicks will play himself completely out of the Twins plans in the next month. And Buxton will arrive in July.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to agree with your take on Hicks. It is hard to see a role for him on the Twins either in the near future or down the road a bit. He isn't going to be better than Buxton, there are too many possible corner OF candidates even in the short term nearly all of them figure to hit better than Hicks and maybe even be better fielders if he doesn't learn how to run routes, keep track of outs and other things going on around him, and learn to hit cut off men.

    While I think he may eventually be a passable starting CF for somebody, the best hope for the Twins is he does pretty well in this call up till Buxton is ready. Maybe he could be flipped for a young prospect in that case.