Monday, March 25, 2013
Hicks gets the gig
By Jason Catania
The Minnesota Twins took advantage of the market this offseason and traded not one but two center fielders. They already have found their next one.
After Denard Span was sent to the Nationals and Ben Revere went to the Phillies over the winter, the centerfield spot was wide open heading into camp.
Despite being only 23 and having yet to play above Double-A, top prospect Aaron Hicks has seized that opportunity and officially been named the Twins' starter, according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger, who writes that Hicks will also handle leadoff duties.
Hicks went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI on Sunday to put an exclamation point on what has been a great spring. The switch-hitter is batting 21-for-60 (.350) and has hit four home runs, including a three-homer game earlier this month. He's also scored and driven in 16 each.
Friday's demotion to Triple-A of fellow prospect Joe Benson, who was in competition with Hicks at the outset of spring, was a pretty good indication the job all but belonged to Hicks, as Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reported.
The other candidate Hicks beat out was Darin Mastroianni, who is also having a big spring but fits better as a fourth outfielder whose speed and defense will help him fill in at all three spots.