When the New York Yankees acquired Aaron Hicks prior to the 2016 season, they hoped he could thrive in limited at-bats as a platoon.Time is not on Aaron Hicks’ side, it is as simple as that. Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees clearly have some love him, which is why he has been handed tremendous leeway for the duration of the season.
Even some fans have given the 26-year-old the benefit of the doubt. Evidently possessing some serious upside, the common defense continues to be that, “He needs consistent at-bats”.
He has never adapted to a lack of playing time that resulted in an .087 average in April, a .222 clip in May, and an unsatisfying .214 output in June. However, with Carlos Beltran ailing, increased at-bats within the past week, and an opportunity to thrive in a National League park, Hicks continues to struggle.
Perhaps he is not the asset the Yanks thought he could potentially be. A larger and more valid sample size is now becoming present and the 2008 first-round pick is simply not taking it by storm.
In fact, he has been in the starting lineup in each of the last six games and has proceeded to go 1-21 (.048) with one run batted in. Long story short: it does not take a brilliant baseball mind to understand his underperformance.
He is now getting the consistent at-bats. For the past week, Hicks has been an everyday player whether it be a left-hander on the mound or filling in for Beltran in right. In that week, he has been his general subpar self.
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When the Yanks took him off the hands of the Twins in the offseason, they envisioned a younger, more athletic, switch-hitting version of Chris Young. Absolutely no one was going to denounce the deal given that they were getting younger and potentially getting the same output.
Little did they know what they were getting was significantly worse. Young was the definition of a perfect platoon last year. Against left-handers he smashed his way to a brilliant .327/.397/.575 slash with seven homers and 24 runs batted in.
Hicks, who was brought along to reenact that display, has put together a miserable .169/.236/.246 slash against southpaws with one home run.
The lone reason he was run out there time and time again early in the season was to provide a superior option to Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner when facing tough lefties. Every single time he would get the nod over one of the two catalysts of this Yankee offense, but now that time may be a thing of the past.
With his recent sample size in essentially a starting role, the organization has only learned that the move was a disappointment every way you try to slice it. If you platoon him, he falters with the bat. If you play him on a daily basis, he falters to more of an extent.
Sure, he provides some value with a stellar glove and an oustanding arm from any outfield position. However, that is value worthy of a September call-up and a plug-in, not a constant nod.
With his worth dwindling, Aaron Hicks needs to get his act together in a hurry before his role becomes nonexistent. Time is no longer on his side.