Aaron Hicks – New York Yankees Centerfielder

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Aaron Hicks: New York Yankees Centerfielder

Aaron Hicks was coveted by the Yankees even back in his playing days with the Minnesota Twins.

Brought to the Bronx in exchange for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy, most Yankees fans were puzzled by the addition of Hicks square in the midst of the Baby Bombers emergence.

Back then, the headlines screamed of the steal made by the Yankees in acquiring Hicks:

“We believe he’s figured some things out in the last couple years,” Cashman said, citing the influence of Torii Hunter, who recently announced his retirement after returning to the Twins for his final season. “It was a little bit like how Didi came into our environment and had some veteran players put their arms around him a little bit and let him grow underneath that veteran presence.”Billy Witz, New York Times

But since then, Aaron Hicks has shown all the periodic brilliance of the five-tool player the Yankees thought they had bought but has never yet reached the stature of a Yankees centerfielder in the tradition of Bernie Williams, Bobby Murcer, or Hall Of Fame icons, Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio.

The Yankees need that type of a player from Aaron Hicks in 2019 if only to prevent Aaron Boone from having to do a daily dance with Brett Gardner moving to center to fill in for an injured or underperforming Hicks, as we saw last year.

The Yankees do not need an MVP performance from Hicks. What they do need, though, is a few more hits than the mere 119 he produced in nearly 600 plate appearances. Aaron Hicks is a set-up guy in the Yankees lineup, and with that his .328 on-base percentage does not deliver what the Yankees need.

At 29, Aaron Hicks is in his final year of arbitration before he becomes a free agent at the conclusion of the upcoming season. As such, this puts him on thin ice if the Yankees are thinking of not signing him after this season.

That lies ahead, though. What the Yankees need from Aaron Hicks, first of all, is to play more than the 137 games he managed to play in 2018, which was (remarkably) his highest total in his big league career.

Put that together with a .275 BA, 25 home runs, and 90 driven in, and Aaron Hicks will have done his part in helping to bring his team to the 2019 World Series.

Finally: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees Closer