Aaron Hicks made his way to the Bronx to be a part-time player. Now the New York Yankees need to cut him loose.About 13 months ago, the New York Yankees signed outfielder Aaron Hicks from the Minnesota Twins, losing the massive personality of catcher John Ryan Murphy in the process.
The pick-up of Hicks was supposed to provide reliable back-up for a powerhouse Yankees team. In the long run, however, it failed. And the experiment with Aaron Hicks must be finished in the Bronx… Right now.
Trading for the switch-hitting outfielder before the 2016 season seemed like a solid idea. The Yankees were unaware of the progress their prospects would make and they needed a reliable fourth outfielder. With
With Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran manning the outfield, Hicks could serve as an injury substitute or a late-game replacement for defensive purposes.
The problem is that Aaron Hicks is now holding the Yankees back. This off-season, the rumors were running wild of Gardner’s potential departure. With his absence, Hicks would be the next available option to take over full-time.
Yet, Hicks has never played full-time and from the small bits he has shown the Yankees last season, he isn’t even close to being ready. The Yankees have hot prospects like Clint Frazier waiting in the wings with more impressive numbers, so what is the point in squeezing all they can out of an underwhelming performer in Hicks?
He’s a great character and, from what I’ve heard, a great teammate. When it comes to his defensive skills, he is just okay. With his bat, it’s been even worse. For a guy that was expected to bring a reliable switch-hitting bat to the line-up, he did exactly the opposite.
In 123 games with the Yankees, he managed a .217 batting average. His lackluster batting statistics didn’t account for the struggle he faced every time he stepped up to the plate. Against left-handed pitchers, he batted a horrific .161 with three home runs.
Hicks on defense wasn’t much better for the Yankees. While he did throw the occasional 105 m.p.h. missile to throw out runners, he struggled with the basics. Routes to the ball were questionable and the effort simply wasn’t there.
Even just a few months of Judge showed that his effort and skills in the outfield were on par and, possibly, better.
Even in his moments of glory with the Yankees, he still didn’t show the consistency that he’ll need to make a difference in the line-up. While they have given him numerous opportunities to succeed in the Bronx, he just hasn’t been able to prove anything.
It’s time to let him go. While Hicks has the potential to be a great player, it will not be in the Bronx. There are far too many prospects knocking on the door that there is no room for an inconsistent player.
That’s why Alex Rodriguez was released. That’s why the Yankees traded Brian McCann. And that’s why they should end this little experiment with Aaron Hicks.
Some say it’s too early to let him loose, but the Yankees are gearing towards the future. If they can’t get what they need out of a 27-year-old like Hicks in one season, they need to realize things will not change. He will continue to hold back the youth movement’s progress.
It’s nice to give young players a chance. However, if they can’t succeed in the Bronx, the Yankees have to learn there is more talent waiting in the wings. Aaron Hicks will be great somewhere else, but it is time for the Yankees to say goodbye.