Minnesota Twins Name Aaron Hicks as Starting Center Fielder

Chris Schad@@crishadContributor IIIMarch 24, 2013

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Aaron Hicks has won the center field job for the Twins and will make his major league debut Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Aaron Hicks has won the center field job for the Twins and will make his major league debut Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers.J. Meric/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins have named prospect Aaron Hicks as their starting center fielder for Opening Day,  according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino, who tweeted this Sunday afternoon:

 

Aaron Hicks wins cf job, gardy confirms. Mauer "happy for him ... He had a great spring."

— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) March 24, 2013

 

Hicks, who is ranked as the Twins' fifth-best prospect by Baseball America, has had a terrific spring while battling Darin Mastroianni and Joe Benson for the center field job.

In 17 games this spring, Hicks posted a line of .304/.359/.607, with four home runs and 15 runs batted in.

That performance picked up where Hicks left off at Double-A New Britain in 2012, where he hit .286/.384/.460, with 13 home runs and 61 RBI. He also showed great speed, stealing 32 bases in 44 attempts.

The choice for Hicks in center field is a good one by the Twins, who are looking to rebuild after back-to-back 90-loss seasons. He immediately fills the top-of-the-order void created by the trades of Denard Span and Ben Revere this winter.

With an ability to get on base (.379 on-base percentage in five minor-league seasons according to Baseball-Reference) ahead of middle-of-the-lineup bashers Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham, Hicks will have plenty of opportunities to score runs in 2013.

The 23-year old Hicks has been highly regarded this winter, showing up 72nd on Baseball America's list of top-100 prospects,  and 98th on a similar list on MLB.com. He has the potential to be a bright spot in what may be another long season for Twins fans.

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