Rand: Hicks and Gomez are comparable stories

  • Updated: June 5, 2014 - 12:57 AM

Aaron Hicks has played a sterling center field, but he has struggled to hit for average in the majors.

In their recent history, the Twins gave the leadoff spot in their batting order to a raw but exciting young center fielder who was replacing an established player. This player new struggled mightily in his first two seasons — both in terms of plate discipline and overall production.

We’re talking, of course, about Carlos Gomez.

Or are we talking about Aaron Hicks?

In some ways, Gomez and Hicks were very different players in their young Twins careers with very different things which they needed to improve. But in other ways, they’re quite similar.

Hicks could be headed back to the minors soon as he attempts to straighten out his career. Gomez, now a star with Milwaukee after being traded there following his second year with the Twins, offers a reminder with the Brewers in town that the Twins shouldn’t give up on Hicks too early.

Here's a look at the two players

Scenario in which he earned CF job

Hicks: In the offseason before the 2013 season, the Twins traded both Ben Revere and Denard Span. That left a hole in center field, and after a hot spring Hicks was given the job.

Gomez: In the offseason before the 2008 season, Torii Hunter signed a free-agent contract with the Angles. That left a hole in center field, which was filled by Gomez – a prize from the Johan Santana trade in the same offseason.

Age when he started first game with the Twins

Hicks: 23

Gomez: 22

On base percentage with Twins

Hicks: .281

Gomez: .293

Home runs with the Twins

Hicks: 9

Gomez: 10

  • related content

  • Carlos Gomez displayed potential, but didn’t blossom until his fifth year — by then long gone from the Twins.

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