Aaron Hicks enjoyed a productive Sunday in the Yankees’ series finale against the Royals, going 3-for-3 with a home run to lead the Yanks to a much needed series win. It was the third multi-hit game of the four game set for Hicks, who only finished hitless in the night cap of Saturday’s double header, when he struck out as a pinch hitter.
Hicks’ solid weekend comes at a great time for the Yankees, who are without two of their best bats in Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez for the coming weeks. It also comes at a great time for Hicks himself, who entered the series against Kansas City having gone just six for his last 46, good for a .217 slugging percentage over a 14 game span.
This trend seems to be on par with Hicks for much of his career in pinstripes, as the 28-year-old has struggled to find overall consistency over a full season, but has his bursts of productivity. This season has been no different. Hicks got off to a strong start and posted a 123 wRC+ in April, but dropped down to 90 in May before heating up again in June and finishing with a 137 wRC+. Last season, Hicks got off to another strong start and finished the first half of the season with a 144 wRC+, but injuries slowed him down in the second half of the season. In short, Hicks is a streaky hitter that could be heating up at just the right time.
If Hicks could use his solid weekend as a launching pad out of his 14 game funk, it would go a long way in trying to make up for the absence of Judge and Sanchez. August was Hicks’ worst month last season in terms of wRC+ (77), but he could be finding his stroke again just before the calendar turns. If that is the case, it couldn’t come at a better time.
Hicks’ overall numbers for 2018 are good, but as we’ve seen over the past few seasons, when Hicks is off, he’s ice cold, and vice versa. His incredible hot streaks certainly help his numbers for the season, which currently rank him among the most valuable center fielders in the American League.
Aaron Hicks with AL CF Ranks— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) July 29, 2018
HR 17 (2nd, Trout 29)
RBI 47 (3rd, Trout 59)
OBP .354 (2nd, Trout .460)
SLG .485 (2nd, Trout .623)
WAR 3.1 (2nd, Trout 7.8)
The Yanks need Hicks to catch fire in the coming weeks and help keep them in the division race until Judge and Sanchez return. His past shows that he is capable of doing just that. His past weekend shows that he could be on the verge of breaking out again, and it couldn’t come at a better time.