The Yankees have plenty of players on the roster who don’t seemingly get the love they deserve, but one player who stands out in particular is center fielder Aaron Hicks.
It was July 12, 2013, Vernon Wells had ripped a gapper to right centerfield, the ball ricocheted off of the wall and took a funky bounce toward centerfield. Minnesota Twins centerfielder, Aaron Hicks, scooped up the ball right off of the warning track and made one of the most incredible throws we’ve ever seen to nab Wells trying to leg out a triple.
At this moment, Cashman undoubtedly saw something in the upcoming, athletic Hicks, whom never really lived up to his potential while in Minnesota, and pretty shortly down the road, that had been proven.
In the fall of 2015, the New York Yankees acquired 26-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder, Aaron Hicks, from the Twins, for John Ryan Murphy.
The Yankees made this trade as they needed a solid outfielder who could play every day, and also trading Murphy made room for the Yankees to prepare some guy named Gary Sanchez to come to the big leagues the following season. Ever heard of that guy? Maybe once or twice?
This trade worked out for the Yankees on a superb level. With the exception of a couple of injuries, Hicks has now solidified himself as the Yankees center fielder. From the ability to cover ground from gap to gap, to the ability to throw anyone out who dares run on him and his rocket arm, to robbing home runs, to hitting big home runs in big spots for the Yankees, Hicks has really come into his own.
After a somewhat rough start for Hicks with an oblique injury, he has found his stride again and it looks like he’s just going to get better and better. With two of Hicks’ four home runs being inside the parkers this year, he’s also shown an elite level of speed that he kicks on when he needs to, but don’t get it twisted, Hicks also has light tower power.
One of the best overall athletes on the team, maybe in the American League as a whole, not saying best player, but he is one great athlete, and he works really hard to maintain that stature as well. No, really, look up his off-season workouts.
Regardless, Hicks has had some huge hits in big spots for the Yankees the last two years. All Yankees fans should remember his huge home run last year in the ALDS against the Indians, as he went on to hit at a .316 clip in that series. This year, in a time where the Yankees were still dangerously sputtering around .500, Hicks returned from the disabled list and hit two home runs in his first game back with the Yanks, in Detroit.
Aaron Hicks has been above and beyond what we expected as a fan base from when we executed that trade at the time, that seemed somewhat lack luster because although all of baseball saw Hicks’ glowing potential, he wasn’t fully tapping into it with the Twins.
Playing the stellar, gold glove caliber defense and finding his stroke at the plate more and more as he has lately, will strongly assist the Yankees in their World Series run this year. Hicks has become an extremely viable bat in the lineup, and Yankees fans should be glad to have the underappreciated outfielder on the club.