Hicks hit leadoff with the club last season, but won't be in such a prominent role this time around. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he doesn't want Hicks to think at the plate. "I don’t want Hicks thinking. I just want him down there swinging, not worried about where he’s at," Gardenhire said.
"He’s already come up and asked me, ‘Am I going to hit eighth this year?’" Gardenhire said. "I told him, basically, ‘you just pray that you’re in the top nine, and you’ll be fine.’" Hicks hit just .192 in 281 at-bats last year.
"Hicksie is probably going to be in center. He's running the ball down pretty good," Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire blasted Hicks for missing the cutoff man, leading to a run in a one-run loss. "The guy who hit the ball went to second and scored on another base hit," Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "So there you have it - the fifth run and we end up losing the game by one run. Throw the ball down. We had no chance to throw the guy out at home. I don't care how strong his arm is. We hit the cutoff man, keep the man at first, who knows what happens?"
Hicks raised his spring batting average to .375 with his big night at the plate.
Hicks hasn't been anything special this spring," he said via the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. "Neither has Presley. There's your center field battle."
Antony might have been a bit harsh regarding Hicks, who has come in strong in recent days. He has lifted his batting average to a respectable .286.
Hicks had been out since March 4 due to an elbow injury and was not in the team's starting lineup, but he smacked a pinch-hit home run in the fifth inning and played center field for the duration of the game. He's 3 for 12 with one home run in four appearances this spring.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/22/2014 vs Tampa Bay|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 20 |
| 21 || 22 |
| 23 |
| 24 |
| 25 |
| 27 |
| 28 || 29 |
| 30 |
| 1 |
| 2 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2011||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||122||443||79||107||31||5||5||38||78||110||17||9||.354||.368||.242|
|2012||AA-New Britain Rock Cat||129||472||100||135||21||11||13||61||79||116||32||11||.384||.460||.286|
|2013||AAA-Rochester Red Wings||22||72||7||16||4||2||0||5||10||21||1||0||.317||.333||.222|