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Aaron Hicks: The underrated star

In the offseason, a lot of talk about how Aaron Hicks isn’t good constantly goes around. In 2020 for some reason he was heavily critiqued despite him being healthy and consistent. He was amazing for the Yankees, and one of our best hitters. This didn’t matter to Yankee fans, as he was ripped on Twitter simply for having YES Network tweet about him. It’s an absolute disgrace that a guy who works his tail off and has been a warrior for us gets the disrespect he does. He’s 100% a top 10 centerfielder, and he’s worth every penny of that seven year $70 million dollar deal he got. Aaron Hicks is a stud, and it’s time he gets the respect he deserves.

One of the Best Eyes in Baseball

Anyone who knows Yankee baseball knows what Hicks does. He doesn’t hit .300 or swing at every pitch. His specialty is his incredible plate discipline and walk percentage. Since 2018, he ranks 8th in BB%, and has been a steady eye at the plate. For some reason, the man just refuses to swing at pitches out of the zone. In the same 2018-2020 time span, he had the 10th lowest swing% at pitches outside the strike zone. He’s got one of the best eyes in baseball and incredible plate discipline, but what about the total offensive package?

Aaron Hicks Is An Offensive Wizard

If you look at Hicks’ stats from 2018-2020, you see a .247 batting average probably and think he can’t hit. This is simply not true, as since 2018 he’s been one of the best offensive centerfielders.

121 wRC+
.350 wOBA
.359 OBP
.451 SLG%
.356 xwOBA
116 DRC+

Offensively he has been a very good hitter, in fact, I would make the case that he’s one of the best hitters on the team. His ability to hit for good power compared with his aforementioned plate discipline makes him deadly at the plate. If you consider Hicks to be a bad hitter or average hitter, you’re sadly mistaken. He’s a very good hitter, but why do people still dislike him? The reason is simple: they don’t actually know a lot about the Yankees.

$10 Million A Year Is Nothing For Aaron Hicks

Drew Smyly and Corey Kluber will make over $10 million in 2021. Kevin Kiermaier is a worse centerfielder than Hicks, and he will make more than Hicks, too. The Yankees are going to pay less for Hicks than teams do for project players. While yes, seven years is a lot, it’s a deal that has a club option and will only be for four more years. James McCann is 30 and signed at four years $40 million, which is basically the remainder of Hicks’ contract. If he were to average 2.5-3 Wins Above Replacement in his last 4 years as a Yankee (which he most likely will), Hicks will be worth it.

Hicks is deserving of praise and not of being slandered constantly. He’s a very good offensive centerfielder, and while he has regressed defensively, he’s one of the best players in the lineup. It’s time we stop alienating our stars and start embracing them.