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Twins prospect Aaron Hicks goes 4-for-5 with three homers

Mar 7, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Aaron Hicks, Joe Vavra AP

It’s been pretty obvious since the Twins traded both Denard Span and Ben Revere this offseason that they want 23-year-old former first-round pick Aaron Hicks to claim the Opening Day job in center field.

Today he probably erased any doubt, going 4-for-5 with three homers, six RBIs, and a stolen base in a split squad game against the Phillies. There’s an argument for sending Hicks to Triple-A for a month or two, in part because he’s never played above Double-A and in part because doing so would give the Twins an extra season of pre-free agency control, but Hicks is making that a tough sell to say the least.

Earlier this week I rated Hicks as the fourth-best prospect in the Twins’ farm system, which says more about the top-end talent they’ve accumulated in recent years than it does about Hicks. He’s a consensus top-100 prospect across baseball and in my write-up I concluded that “if last year’s power development sticks he has a chance to be a star.” Today at least it stuck. Oh, and Hicks homered yesterday too.

  1. b453841l - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Hope springs eternal in Twinkietown!

  2. kopy - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    This is bad news for that guy who was the de facto CF for the Twins because he lived in town and owned his own car and glove.

  3. dondada10 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Regardless of what he does in the Spring, the Twins should delay his service time. That’s basically what the Mets have to do with d’Arnaud. Both teams are more likely to be competitive 6-7 years from now than now.

    • dirtydave6986 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      6-7 years? I don’t think you can project any team in any sport that far down the road.

      • dondada10 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        But one can surely project for the year ahead, and the Twins aren’t going to compete for a playoff spot.

        Note that I said “more likely to be competitive.” I don’t know if the Twins are going to be any good in 2019. None the less, it doesn’t make sense to start a prized prospects service time during a year that is likely to be a wash.

    • thebadguyswon - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      C’mon man….for all we know the Twins and Mets will be competitive in 2014. You can’t tell the future that far out and there’s two wildcards now.

      • dondada10 - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        You’re right. Both the Mets and the Twins might build and grow well this year and compete next year. My point, simply, is that the Twins shouldn’t start Hicks’ service time THIS YEAR so that when they are competitive (2014, 2019, whatever) they’ll have more control over one of their better players.

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        Probably so.

      • weaselpuppy - Mar 7, 2013 at 11:19 PM

        The Twins have maybe 3 MLB caliber pitchers and will be paying Mauer $23M/yr until 2019. They have no one else on that team that looks like a MLB caliber #1-3SP or above average regular besides Mauer and Willinghammer.

        KC is finally spending money on pitching and has 6-7 of their young guys coming into their own together on the field. Chicago has enough SP to relevant for the next 3 years. Cleveland? well, they are doing the rebuild a little and add veterans and try and sneak 85 wins thing…and the Tigers have 10 guys on their team I’d rather have than the 2nd best guy on MInny.

        Minny’s “window” really is 2016=18 when Sano, Buxton and Hicks and crew in the minors have gotten a couple years in the bigs to season..

        That said, starting his clock doesn’t matter a ton, one way or the other. He looks like a player.

    • nkrau83 - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      You play, to win, the games… HELLO!? 6-7 years? Most foolish comment I’ve ever heard. Twins pretty infamous for performing well when expected to be crap, and crapping when expected to do well. If our cores healthy our offense is solid and retooled pitching staff who knows, potential is there. Either way after getting big public $ for new ballpark, Twins shed their “cheap” ways and to suggest we should punt on 1st down in order to prepare for 2020, let alone 2014, is the stupidest notion I’ve ever heard!

      • dondada10 - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        I never said the Twins should prepare for 2020. I said that the Twins should delay Hicks’ time so they have him for more seasons (1) than they would if they start his clock out of Spring.

        Also, proofread your own post. You’re reading comprehension skills are clearly shit, but at least try to string a few words together into a sentence.

      • nkrau83 - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Your the one who said 6-7 years butt hurt billy hahaha c’mon man! And so what if we lose a year arbitration rights? Didn’t stop trout (who’s barely making half a mil THIS YEAR), or Harper, did it? If the kid can play they’ll let him play, period! Not to even mention Gardenhire is on super hot seat; Twins don’t show major improvement he gone. So just because you want to show off you know one rule pertaining to MLB prospects, don’t mean you have a clue what you’re talking about in this matter. Sorry my spelling not up to your standards dondiddlydoo, but take your butt hurt ass on hahaha

      • pmcenroe - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        @nkrau83 I don’t think you are properly following what he is trying to say. He’s not really talking about possibly avoiding “Super 2″ status in arbitration but rather delaying his free agency. If they Twins put him on the opening day roster they get 6 years of him. If they send him to the minors for a month they 6.8 years of him so basically 7 seasons. So what he saying is if the Twins aren’t supposed to compete for a playoff spot in April why not send him down to AAA for a month that way in 2020 (when hopefully they will have a better team) they get that extra bonus year rather than him becoming a free agent. The Nationals and Angels both did this with Trout and Harper last year, that’s why they weren’t on their opening day rosters.

  4. JB (the original) - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Gonna need a lot of runs to win games this season. Last year, the Twins only won 6 games when scoring 3 runs or less.

    • dluxxx - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Believe it our not our pitching is going to be better this year. But that’s not saying much. Even if we shave 100 runs off our total from last season that leaves us at or near the bottom of the barrel.

      So, yeah, we’re going to need A LOT of runs.

  5. nvandy42 - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Play him right out of the gate, in a few years Byron Buxton will be ready and we’ll trade Hicks just like we’ve done with the last few CF prospects we brought up through our farm system.

    • wintwins - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Buxton is far from a sure thing, and another year of team control makes Hicks more valuable in a trade anyway.

  6. dluxxx - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I’d like to see them wait for a month or two just to keep his service time down. However, I’m not sure how the average Twins fan would take that. I’d guess they’ll freak out.

    I mean, we’re talking about people who were booing Mauer last year. I’m not sure what happened to Minnesota nice, but we sure got used to winning and don’t taking losing very well after that nice run in the 00’s.

    • pillowporkers - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      I boo Mauer because he’s one of the top paid players in the game, and he doesn’t have an ounce of leadership in his body. Many players, team administrators, and local media members have come out and agreed with me on this sentiment. He’s right up there with Jay Cutler for the most apathetic athlete in sports. It’s not all his fault, though. 1. The Twins should have never signed him to that deal he would never be able to live up to. 2. We should have made Joe Mauer not be a catcher from the beginning (Is Bryce Harper playing catcher, NO. Did he want to? YES). You don’t have premier prospect hitters behind the plate. Now were stuck with a guy who can only catch 50-70% of games, otherwise we have to put him at first or DH. Two positions that traditionally you’d like more than 8 HR p/year power out of.

      • dluxxx - Mar 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Thanks for making my point for me…

  7. vikesfansteve - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Against a guy who will be bagging groceries next week.

    • dluxxx - Mar 8, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Ah yes, that’s right. I forgot that Cliff Lee is going to be cut. That was the big news this off season coming out of Philly, right? This is what I’m talking about here folks. Your average Minnesota fan is so jaded that they can’t help but be negative. Call me crazy, or call my rememberance of two world championships in 4 years, but I still believe. Will the Twins be great this year? No, but they can’t get much worse than the last two years.

      • vikesfansteve - Mar 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        2 in 5 years. Stop sucking cock it’s making you stupid. You do realize that’s a line from Major League right. Dipshit.

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