also available at www.SethSpeaks.net –
It is always strange to me when I hear Twins fans and some minor league baseball fans talking about how disappointing Aaron Hicks has been in Beloit. I think part of it is because many, myself included, thought he would end the 2010 season in Ft. Myers. I realize everyone from fans to players to front office personnel are eagerly awaiting his breakout year when his incredible tools become skills and he puts up some terrific numbers. But I wanted to take a look at how his numbers at Beloit compare to other Twins players and their numbers in the Midwest League.
Let’s start by reviewing the numbers that Aaron Hicks has put up the last two years in Beloit:
|Aaron Hicks||19||2009||Beloit||.251/.353/.382 (735)||15/3/4/29||40/55|
|Aaron Hicks||20||2010||Beloit||.279/.401/.428 (829)||27/6/8/49||88/112|
Here are some current and former Twins players and how they did in the Midwest League (Note – Delmon Young’s A-ball numbers from the Sally League):
|Torii Hunter||18||1994||Ft. Wayne||.293/.358/.439 (797)||17/1/10/50||25/80|
|Michael Cuddyer||19||1998||Ft. Wayne||.276/.364/.451 (815)||37/7/12/81||61/107|
|Justin Morneau||20||2001||Quad Cities||.356/.420/.597 (1017)||17/2/12/53||26/38|
|Joe Mauer||19||2002||Quad Cities||.302/.393/.392 (785)||23/1/4/62||61/42|
|Jason Kubel||20||2002||Quad Cities||.321/.380/.521 (901)||26/4/17/69||41/48|
|Denard Span||20||2004||Quad Cities||.267/.363/.308 (671)||4/3/0/14||34/49|
|Delmon Young||18||2004||Charleston||.320/.386/.536 (922)||26/5/25/115||53/120|
|Alexi Casilla||20||2005||Cedar Rapids||.325/.392/.409 (801)||11/3/3/17||29/31|
Here are a few notes:
- Everyone talks about how Torii Hunter didn’t put up great numbers in the Midwest League. Well, he did, and he did it at the age of 18. He was already showing some of that power.
- Michael Cuddyer put up some incredible minor league numbers all the way up the ladder, and it started as a 19 year old in 1998. Look at all those extra base hits.
- Justin Morneau didn’t get to the Midwest League until he was 20, and he only spent a half season there because he completely dominated the level.
- Joe Mauer’s OPS isn’t exciting, but we did get a glimpse of the player he has become too. Many more walks than strikeouts, a few doubles, and a good batting average.
- How fun would it have been to see Quad Cities play in 2002 with Mauer and Jason Kubel? You can see why so many people back then saw Kubel as a mix between Morneau and Mauer.
- Denard Span didn’t exactly put up monster numbers, and he did miss quite a bit of time with injury. The take-away from those numbers is that he had a very nice Isolated Discipline already even though he was, like Hicks, very raw at the time.
- Delmon Young was a beast after being taken with the 1st overall pick in the 2003 draft. Ever wonder why people still think he’ll develop a lot of power, check out those numbers!
- Alexi Casilla was with the Angels organization, but what he did for Cedar Rapids made him the guy they wanted in a trade of JC Romero the next offseason.
- I included international players and high school drafted players in this group. Danny Valencia hit .302/.374/.500 (874) with 15 doubles and 11 homers in a half-season with the Snappers, but he was 22 years old after spending three years playing Division I baseball. Matt Tolbert played four years at the University of Mississippi, so the Twins had him skip the Midwest League and go right to Ft. Myers.
Can we take anything away from these numbers? With Hicks, you have to love his Isolated Discipline and On-Base skills from both years. The strikeouts increased some in 2010, but he has shown some extra base power. Delmon Young, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel put up really tremendous numbers in the Midwest League, and that has translated to the big leagues eventually. Cuddyer was an extra base machine as a 19 year old in Beloit, and yet his OPS was lower than Hicks’ was in 2010, as a 20 year old. Joe Mauer has always had a terrific eye, and yet Hicks has produced significantly better IsoD while producing more extra base hits.
Of course, we don’t know what will happen. We know that all players develop differently, but I think that this quick, cursory glance at Hicks’ numbers compared to current big leaguers gives us no reason to believe he won’t continue developing and become a very good big league player.
Let’s also take a look at the Midwest League numbers of some of the other Twins hitting prospects to see how they compare:
|Trevor Plouffe||19||2005||Beloit||.223/.300/.345 (645)||18/0/13/60||50/78|
|Chris Parmelee||19||2007||Beloit||.239/.313/.414 (727)||23/5/15/70||46/137|
|Chris Parmelee||20||2008||Beloit||.239/.385/.496 (881)||10/3/14/49||52/83|
|Joe Benson||19||2007||Beloit||.255/.347/.368 (715)||18/8/5/38||49/124|
|Joe Benson||20||2008||Beloit||.248/.326/.382 (708)||16/3/4/27||24/73|
|Ben Revere||20||2008||Beloit||.379/.433/.497 (930)||17/10/1/43||27/31|
|Angel Morales||19||2009||Beloit||.266/.329/.455 (784)||22/5/13/62||30/104|
|Angel Morales||20||2010||Beloit||.289/.381/.474 (855)||13/7/4/36||24/65|
|James Beresford||20||2009||Beloit||.289/.342/.313 (655)||11/0/0/38||34/70|
|James Beresford||21||2010||Beloit||.297/.349/.363 (712)||19/5/1/59||34/56|
|Danny Rams||20||2009||Beloit||.229/.308/.429 (737)||14/0/7/23||18/77|
|Danny Rams||21||2010||Beloit||.243/.310/.450 (760)||28/4/16/68||31/145|
|Anderson Hidalgo||21||2010||Beloit||.316/.375/.443 (818)||25/1/3/28||24/50|
- Trevor Plouffe put up those numbers only because he played much better in the 2nd half of the season. Good power numbers, but he could have used another year with the Snappers.
- Both Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee struggled in their first seasons in the Midwest League. Then both got hurt halfway through their second season with the team. However, in the second year, you can see why people are excited about his patience and power potential.
- Looking at Revere’s Beloit numbers, what a year he had. Very much batting average based, of course. But if we were to only look at OPS, his is right up there with anyone (except Morneau). And he stole 44 bases that year too.
- Angel Morales… how/why is he so overlooked in many prospect rankings?
- James Beresford showed good improvement from 2009 and 2010. Reports are that he has gained some weight this offseason. If he can add any semblance of power to his game, he could jump up prospect rankings quickly!
- Danny Rams has so much power potential, but he just needs to put the ball in play more. His 77 strikeouts in 2009 came in just 175 at bats. He struck out 145 times in 407 at bats in 2010. Yet, his power numbers still make him intriguing.
- Anderson Hidalgo may be the least known, or maybe underrated, prospect in the organization. He had another solid year in 2010.
What is the summary? There really isn’t one. There is no science to prospect rankings and we don’t know how things will turn out, but if nothing else, I believe this data shows that Twins fans should continue to be very excited about the future of Aaron Hicks.
Any thoughts? Feel free to leave your comments here. Also, for more links to Twins articles and thoughts throughout the weekend, be sure to follow me on Twitter where I like to retweet Twins-related articles and post thoughts frequently. Have a great weekend!