by Ray Kuhn
At this time we are in a state of flux, as we match forward with no certainty as to when, or if, the baseball season will start. Of course, that’s not the priority, but planning on a baseball season that will be starting in June or July warrants some level of change and revision to your original draft day plan. One player that applies to, is Aaron Hicks.
After having Tommy John surgery in October Hicks was slated to miss, at a minimum, half of the 2020 season. Things are moving along according to plan for the outfielder, as he is currently in the midst of his throwing program, and current indications are for him to be cleared most likely in July with a return by August quite possible. With the start of the season delayed, Hicks should be active for the majority of the whatever we end up calling the 2020 campaign.
So how does that impact his value?
Let’s assume that Hicks will still start the year on the Injured List, but we can now count on him for roughly two-thirds of the season, if not a little more. That increases his value, but just in the sense that his counting stats will increase based on more at bats. What do we think of Hicks the player?
Entering 2019 he had stolen double digit bases with three of his last four seasons, but in 59 games last season he attempted just three stolen bases and was successful only once. That’s the first problem, as a good amount of his value is tied to being a power/speed threat. Then we have to wonder how much power is there?
Hicks did hit 27 HR along with 79 RBI in 2018, but what can we expect from him in the power department moving forward? He went deep 15 times in 88 games the year prior, and before his injury last season he hit 12 HR. So while, in a full season, I’m not sure we can expect the outfielder to hit 30 HR in 2020, he can be a 20 to 25 HR hitter thanks to his above average power.
When it comes to hard contact Hicks is lacking, and his contact rate also dipped last season from 77% to 67%. With just a 16% line drive rate, his plate skills leave something to be desired.
What we have is an injury plagued outfielder who will be coming back from a major injury, is now 30 years old and can no longer be drafted on potential. Hicks is a solid fifth outfielder in deeper leagues when healthy, but draft him on what he is and not potential on what he could be (a .250 hitter with 20 HR). Due to the delayed start the season he should be back on our radars, as long as he’s valued appropriately.
Make sure to check out all of our 2020 Fantasy Baseball preseason rankings: