Aaron Hicks has hit four home runs in his last six games for the New York Yankees, it’s safe to say his power is back.
After connecting on a two-run bomb during Tuesday night’s 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners, Hicks now has four home runs in his last six games played entering Wednesday.
Hicks told reporters after the Yankees salvaged a split with the Washington Nationals in their makeup games on Monday that he’s getting a good feel for his swing at the plate right now.
“I feel like I’ve been seeing the ball well. I feel like I’ve been seeing the ball well. I’m not chasing pitches and kind of keeping it in the zone and taking good swings.” Hick said via Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media.
As the weather has started to heat up in the month of June, so has Hicks’ bat. He went 3-4 at the dish on Tuesday night, giving him three straight games with two hits or more. In his last 17 games, Hicks is hitting .322 (19 for 59) with six home runs and 12 RBI.
This hot streak is exactly what Hicks needed after a rough start to the 2018 campaign. The slow start was mostly contributed to him sustaining another oblique injury to begin the season.
Through the first two months of the spring, Hicks was carrying a .222 batting average with five home runs and 21 RBI.
This unlike his first three months of last season when he was arguably one of the Yankees’ best hitters, batting .290 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI, and having an on-base percentage of .398. That slowed down a little as the season progressed into the postseason where he hit .196.
His poor performance at the plate had fans clamoring for the Yankees to bring up Clint Frazier, who has been raking it down in Triple-A a shot in center field over Hicks.
Through his early season struggles and calls for him to be benched, Hicks has picked it up in the month of June and is currently one of the hottest bats in the Yankees lineup. That’s huge for the Yankees who are 8-3 on the season when Hicks has a multi-hit night.
Hicks being hot at the plate right now is also a major bonus for the Yankees with Brett Gardner dealing with a sore knee and being out of the lineup the last couple of games. The Yankees have been able to plug Hicks in for Gardner in the leadoff spot and not lose a beat. In 13 games batting leadoff this season, Hicks has 15 hits and five of his 10 home runs on the year.
Hicks’ performance in the leadoff spot was a huge part in the Yankees winning their last two games entering play Wednesday, with Hicks having a two-run home run in each game.
The strong performance by Hicks in the leadoff spot has gotten the attention of Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who said after Tuesday’s game that he plans to bat Hicks in the leadoff spot against lefties going forward.
“I still think against righties it’ll be Gardy, and then lefties, Hicks,” Boone said via Newsday’s Kenny DeJohn. “That’s kind of how I see it playing out. Hicksie being a switch hitter, he’s nice to have as that flexible piece that you can plop him a few places in the order a little more strategically just depending on the matchup and who’s in their pen.
With his batting average up now to .256 and his power numbers rising to 10 home runs and 32 RBI on the season, Hicks’ bat is starting to look like it did at the beginning of last season. That’s huge for a Yankees lineup that doesn’t feature many switch hitters unlike in years past.
If Hicks can continue to provide strong production from both sides of the plate, the Yankees offense will be even more powerful than what it has been this season.
“Just keep going and keep riding that streak as much as possible,” Hicks said after Tuesday’s game per DeJohn, “And make sure that I stay humbled with it and just continue to try and help the team win.”