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Aaron Hicks will stop switch-hitting due to lack of confidence as lefty

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Aaron Hicks is batting .149/.284/.209 left-handed this season vs. .263/.417/.342 right-handed.
Aaron Hicks is batting .149/.284/.209 left-handed this season vs. .263/.417/.342 right-handed. (USATSI)

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Twins center fielder and former top prospect Aaron Hicks has decided to stop switch-hitting due to confidence issues. From the sound of it, he made the decision on his own and without any prompting from the team:

Hicks, 24, is a career .191/.280/.314 (66 OPS+) hitter in 445 plate appearances over the past two seasons. During that time he has hit .179/.261/.285 against right-handed pitchers and .227/.333/.402 against lefties. Hicks is a natural right-handed hitter, like most switch-hitters.

Shane Victorino is the best and most recent example of a switch-hitter moving to one side of the plate exclusively. He stopped hitting left-handed midway through last season, though he has indicated he may return to switch-hitting in a future. It hasn't happened yet though.

Hicks has been a switch-hitter for most of his life and the adjustment to facing righties as a right-handed batter will be a challenge. Remember, he has never seen a slider break away from him or two-seamer run back in on his hands. He will have to make that adjustment at the MLB level, at least at first, however.

The Twins come into Monday's action with a 23-24 record, and although they are in third place in the AL Central, their -21 run differential is the third worst in the AL. They are rebuilding and are in position to give Hicks a chance to learn how to hit right-handed full-time at the MLB level.

The adjustment might not be pretty at times -- for what it's worth, Victorino took to it exceptionally well last year -- but it just might help save Hicks' career.

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