Yankees News: Aaron Hicks Likely to Hit Leadoff; Aaron Judge Also Considered

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Aaron Hicks #31 of the New York Yankees in action against the Boston Red Sox in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 9, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees  4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Aaron Hicks will likely hit leadoff for the team this season, though Aaron Judge could be used against some left-handers.

Brett Gardner hit in the leadoff spot for most of 2018.

Hicks, 29, hit .248/.366/.467, with 27 home runs and 79 runs batted in last season. He hit in the leadoff spot in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox due to the struggles of Andrew McCutchen, who had taken Gardner's place as the Yankees' primary leadoff guy.

"I also like him, because we don’t have a lot of lefties right now, his left-handed bat in the middle, you like him splitting up [right-handed hitting] guys," Boone told reporters Wednesday. "We will kind of evolve over spring training. My expectation is that we will see a lot of different orders depending on right and left as spring training unfolds and the start of the season unfolds."

Hicks put up his best numbers last season while batting in the leadoff spot. His lack of elite speed makes him an unconventional option, but with Gardner's career on the downslope, the Yankees really don't have a traditional leadoff hitter.

Judge in the leadoff spot would be even farther off the beaten path. The slugger has just 15 stolen bases in his career but has a career on-base percentage of .398. He'd also pack some pop that could get the Yankees ahead 1-0 in the blink of an eye.

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