Aaron Hicks had a bizarre 2020.
He was certainly one of seven gamers that walked extra typically than he struck out – becoming a member of a membership with the likes of Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper. But he hit for a shocking lack of energy, posting his lowest SLG and ISO since 2016, his first season within the Bronx. He appeared in 54 of the crew’s 60 video games, with 50 begins within the outfield, all in middle. He’s clearly the crew’s alternative for that pivotal place, but this was the primary season he was objectively dangerous defensively. Pattern measurement caveats clearly apply, however whether or not you employ DRS, UZR/150, or OAA, Hicks was not good at one of the crucial vital spots on the diamond.
After all, the factor about Hicks’ season that prompted probably the most dialog was the place he hit within the batting order. The Yankees’ obsession with breaking apart their huge right-handed bats meant that the switch-hitter was penciled in to the third spot again and again, hitting within the three gap 32 instances via the season, and each single sport within the postseason run.
The Yankees have proven a substantial amount of loyalty to Hicks, from the second they traded him, to the seven-year extension the 2 sides agreed to, via guaranteeing him a plate look within the first inning of each single postseason sport. And for all of 2020, however particularly within the crew’s playoff run, Aaron Hicks made it depend.
He scored six runs within the seven video games, together with on two of Giancarlo Stanton’s residence runs, and one other on a Stanton sac fly. This was the postseason the place Stanton actually started sketching out his Yankee legacy, but when Hicks isn’t getting on base in entrance of him, the narrative round Stanton carrying the crew, driving in all these runs, begins to alter.
Is Hicks clutch? He didn’t have a giant residence run – actually, he didn’t go away the yard as soon as within the postseason run, and 6 of his eight hits had been singles. He didn’t actually have a memorable defensive play – Brett Gardner robbed a house run and Gio Urshela was a spotlight reel each evening, however Hicks was simply the middle fielder.
However he acquired on base 14 instances in seven video games. He wore pitchers out on the plate, and used his greatest asset, his recognition of the strike zone. Self-discipline doesn’t droop, and though a man like DJ LeMahieu is a greater participant than Hicks, within the Yankee playoff run, Hicks was way more priceless, working opposing pitchers and refusing to provide away outs towards a number of the greatest pitchers within the sport.
Aaron Hicks has had a wierd profession, and a bizarre 2020. He’ll proceed to be an average-to-above-average participant, and we’ll scratch our heads at why he’s hitting third, or whether or not his protection is nearly as good because it may very well be. However for the final two weeks, he was the perfect Yankee hitter not named Giancarlo Stanton, and the Yankees had been rewarded for his or her loyalty.