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Because of the Twins' need and his performance, Aaron Hicks has won the CF job to start the season.
2013 Spring Stats
18 G, 21-for-60 (.350/.397/.650), 6 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 16 Runs, 6 BB, 15 K, 3 SB
What Hicks has done
Hicks is one of the most fascinating prospects in recent years. He has always had above-average or better raw tools across the board, but he has been slow to adapt to each new level.
In 2009, Hicks played in the Midwest League at Beloit as a 19-year old. He hit a solid, albeit unspectacular, .251/.353/.382 in 67 games. He also had a 55-40 strikeout-to-walk ratio. For a player at that age to post a .353 on-base percentage is rather impressive.
It should be pointed out that the Midwest League is one of the worst leagues for hitters in the minors. The weather is brutal at the start of the season, keeping offensive numbers down, and players haven't developed their power enough to showcase it in games.
The next season, the Twins kept Hicks in Beloit and he looked much better, hitting .279/.401/.428 in 115 games. He got promoted for to High-A for the 2011 season, again putting up an uneventful .242/.354/.368 line.
Even though Hicks didn't look ready to move up, the Twins pushed him to Double-A for the 2012 season. He responded with his best season yet, hitting .286/.384/.460 in 129 games at New Britain.
Despite being around for four years, Hicks is just 23 years old and will still flash the tools that made him the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He has torched opposing pitchers this spring, leading the Twins to promote him to the big leagues without one game at Triple-A.
It is an aggressive promotion for a player who has traditionally struggled when he takes the next step. He could fall flat on his face and be sent down, but the Twins really needed someone to take control of the center field job this spring, and Hicks has been their best player.
As long as this move doesn't stunt Hicks' development, why not give him a shot?