How Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (#14) of the 2008 amateur draft by the Twins
2008 – Gulf Coast Twins (GCL – Twins Rookie Ball) – 45 games
- 4 HR, 27 RBI, 12 stolen bases
- 28 walks, 32 strikeouts
- .372 BABIP
2009 – Beloit (Midwest League – Twins A-ball) – 67 games
- 4 HR, 29 RBI, 10 stolen bases
- 40 walks, 55 strikeouts
- .307 BABIP
Baseball America – #1 (MIN – 2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #1 (MIN – 2010) - 5 star
John Sickels – #1 (MIN – 2010) – B+
Hicks was drafted in 2008, and immediately sent to the Twins’ rookie league team upon his signing. Hicks was drafted to play CF, but was also a highly touted pitching prospect as well. He hit very well, posting a .318/.409/.491 line, which was partially backed by a .372 batting average on balls in play.
Hicks has not as of yet shown a whole lot of power in the minors, only hitting 40 extra base hits in his 2 seasons. That said, he was only 19 when the 2009 season ended. He should develop power as he continues to mature.
Hicks is really known for two main things: his speed, and his plate discipline. He posted a 14% walk rate in both seasons, a very respectable rate. His strikeout rate appears to be a bit high (21% in 2009), but that number should also improve over time.
His speed does not appear to be an elite tool (like Desmond Jennings or Carl Crawford), but should translate to somewhere between 20 and 30 stolen bases on a consistent basis.
2009 was a bit of a disappointing season for Hicks, as his BABIP appears to have regressed to the norm. (.251/.353/.382). His plate discipline didn’t appear to really suffer though, as he was still walking at a 14% clip.
Based on his skill set, I believe that he can stick in CF if that is where the Twins eventually need him. He appears to have a good throwing arm, and a solid range out there.
Hicks appears to be a very high-ceiling prospect. I am not 100% sold that he will develop a lot of power, but should be good for 40-50 extra base hits a season, to go along with 20-30 stolen bases and a .270-.290 batting average. I am really looking forward to seeing the Twins sending him to a full-season league this year, preferably their High-A affiliate.
Prediction for 2010
.280/.360/.430, 25 doubles, 8 homeruns, 25 stolen bases
I am envisioning him not getting to Minneapolis until 2013. That progression would allow him to spend a full season at High-A, AA, and AAA prior to getting to the Majors. That would still only put him at age 23 when he gets there.
Tomorrow’s Prospect Review: A.J. Pollock (OF) of the Arizona Diamondbacks