MLB

Yankees’ Aaron Hicks Could Make MLB History When 2020 Season Opens

Between his arm and his bat, Aaron Hicks has been a trendsetting and impactful player in his four seasons with the Yankees.

Hicks’ biggest issue, and he’s not the only Yankees player with this problem, has been his health. But it’s because of those various ailments and history on the injured list that provides Hicks with an opportunity to make MLB history this season.

Aaron Hicks is a potent player when healthy

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A former first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2008, the Yankees acquired Hicks after the 2015 season for pennies on the dollar.

The Yankees traded backup catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Twins for Hicks, a five-tool outfielder who hit .225 in his three seasons at the big-league level.

After a rough first season with the Yankees, Hicks grew into one of baseball’s most underrated outfielders. He hit .250 with 54 home runs, 167 RBIs, 22 stolen bases, and a .359 on-base percentage in that span.

Hicks was worth 9.3 Wins Above Replacement across that time and played Gold Glove-caliber defense in the outfield.

Hicks has frequently battled injuries

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks could make MLB history when the 2020 season opens.
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks could make MLB history when the 2020 season opens. | Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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Aaron Hicks has almost become everything the Yankees wanted when they traded for him. He hits home runs, takes plenty of pitches that work up a pitcher’s count, and is a stellar outfielder.

The reason why Hicks is almost everything the Yankees desired is his health issues. He missed time with shoulder and hamstring injuries in 2016, his first year with the Yankees.

Despite dealing with oblique injuries that limited Hicks to only 88 games, he still was worth 3.9 WAR. Hicks had another shoulder injury in 2018 but played a career-high 137 games.

Hicks missed the start of last season with a back injury. He went on the injured list in August with an elbow injury but returned for the playoffs.

Hicks hit .154 with a three-run home run in the ALCS.

Aaron Hicks could make MLB history when the 2020 season opens

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When the Yankees’ 2019 season ended in the American League Championship Series, Aaron Hicks went under the knife and had Tommy John surgery.

Hicks was expected to miss the first half of the 2020 season, which is partly why the Yankees re-signed Brett Gardner, the team’s longest-tenured player.

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic ruined all plans. But what it did was give Hicks more time to recover and, potentially, become the first known player in MLB history to not miss any time after having Tommy John surgery.

Hicks could be ready to go when the 2020 MLB season opens in late-July, according to NJ.com. He started throwing again in late March and has taken batting practice in recent weeks.

The Yankees have not officially announced the current plan for Hicks. But the team should have a better idea when Spring Training 2.0 opens at the start of July.