Minnesota's Hicks and Arcia Aren't All That Bad

2/3 of the Twins' outfield are rookies, and conventional stats don't do them justice.

Twice this year the Minnesota Twins have inserted stud prospect outfielders into their starting line-up. As a result, I have twice gone on binges where I have listened exclusively to “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias for weeks at a time (Note: I don’t recommend this – all of my YouTube ads are now in Spanish. No sé la razón). However, twice those stud prospects have struggled right out of the gate in the majors.

Now, after the last few weeks, I am ready to declare that Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia are here to stay. And, ooooh, baby, it feels so good.

Explaining Hicks Away

STOP NOW! Don’t go look at Aaron Hicks’ stats because they are not pretty. Just don’t do it. Hicks is currently hitting .120/.230/.160, but that doesn’t come close to telling the full story of the Twins’ 2008 1st-round draft pick.

Back on April 13, Hicks was hitting .047 and had only walked three times on the season. Since that day, Hicks’ average is still only .219. But, in that time, he has eight walks and eight runs scored with an OBP of .375.

Hicks’ value has never been in his average. In his minor league career, he hit .271 with a .379 on-base. The man just finds ways to score. Last year at AA New Britain, Hicks scored 100 runs in 129 games, which projects to 116 runs over 150 games. Hicks currently sits tied for second on the Twins with 11 runs scored in the first 24 games.

The patience of Hicks is also finally coming out and working to his benefit. Hicks’ walk percentage is 12.6 percent (and was once as high as 17 percent), which is significantly better than the MLB average of around eight percent. Hicks swings at 22.2 percent of pitches outside of the zone, which is the 26th lowest total in the league. For comparison, Pablo Sandoval swings at 49.1 percent of pitches out of the zone. Panda don’t care about no walks.

Did I mention that dude got his first career triple on a 101-mph fastball? It was the fastest pitch hit for extra bases since 2010, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It doesn’t really mean anything, but that stat got my insides all tingly.

The Rock of Arcia

On the other hand, Oswaldo Arcia is just a strong human being. Over his last six games, Arcia is hitting .285 with a three-run bomb mixed in there. He also has the only other three-run homer for the Twins this year, which was the first of his career back on April 23.

Overall, Arcia’s .220 average should come up. His BABIP currently sits at .241, well below the league average of around .290.

Arcia has thus-far had a propensity for coming through with runners on base. His .950 OPS with runners on base dwarfs that of the rest of the team at .688. He has come to the plate with 26 runners on base this year. Six of those have scored, giving him a base-runners scored percentage of 23. The next highest percentages for Twins starters are Pedro Florimon (19 percent) and… yup, Aaron Hicks (16 percent). Then you get to Trevor Plouffe’s whopping four percent. Good job, good effort.

Well, kiddos, I think there are several lessons we can take from this today: 1) Sometimes stats are cheating, lying bastards, 2) YouTube doesn’t know as much about you as they think they do (or else all of my ads would be for My Little Pony merchandise) and 3) Aaron Hicks y Oswaldo Arcia pudieran ser mis heroes.