I'm curious to see how this narrative has changed since the start of the season. When the season started there was pretty strong sentiment for a number of different schools of thought. Between those who believed in Aaron Hicks, between those who didn't, between those who thought they might but not quite yet, and then everything in between - just like every sports talk radio program or every water cooler conversation, we all thought we had our fingers on the pulse of the situation. Nobody agreed with anybody else - or at least that's how it seemed.
Two weeks later, Hicks was 2-for-his-first-48 (.042) and people were already shedding garments. And to be fair, Hicks was over-matched. Yet the Twins stuck with him, and since he's batted .228. Not great. But much more forgiveable than .042. And after returning from his injury this month, he was hitting .271 until this weekend's hitless trio of contests.
Where do you stand now? Who still believes in Hicks, who is a new convert or closing in on that position, and who still believes that the Twins either did the wrong thing or still just doesn't think Hicks is the way forward? All defensible positions, certainly. Or maybe you just think the Twins didn't have any other choice? Because you might be partially right, too.
Regardless of where we all sit on the Aaron Hicks fandom spectrum, one thing is for sure. That man can run down the damned baseball and that man can throw like he's packing a laser guided missile system.
Aaron Hicks dives for a catch
Aaron Hicks throws out Vernon Wells on a frozen rope
Aaron Hicks headbutts the center field wall and still makes the catch
Aaron Hicks robs fellow rookie Wil Myers of the second 'l' in his first name as well as a base hit
Aaron Hicks makes a catch at the wall (I was at this game, thanks)
Aaron Hicks dives to rob another Blue Jay, sorry Canada
Aaron Hicks...SWEET MOTHER OF GOD
Aaron Hicks will double you off of first base
Aaron Hicks performs the scientifically impossible
Aaron Hicks robs Carlos Gomez of a home run
Aaron Hicks robs Adam Dunn of a home run
Aaron Hicks teaches Nelson Cruz to recognize
Aaron Hicks robs A.J. Pierzynski of extra bases
Aaron Hicks gives Mike Carp a spring training preview
Is Hicks going to win Rookie of the Year? Of course not. But until Byron Buxton proves that he's ready for the Majors and takes over center field for himself, the position belongs to Hicks. We've seen him make adjustments at the plate over the last couple of months, and as you can see for yourself the increased confidence at the dish is going hand-in-hand with additional highlight-reel catches in the field. I think half of those highlights are from the last few weeks.
No matter what the view of Hicks may be, the Twins have made their position perfectly clear: they're going the distance with him. Win or lose, terrible or great, they've committed to giving him the time he needs to develop, adjust, and become the player they hope he can be. The talent is there - but talent always needs that opportunity to bloom.
Here's hoping Hicks can continue to adjust and continue to give us reasons to be excited about the future of this team.