The New York Yankees may have had a postseason miss this year, but some of their past players who didn’t quite shine with the Bombers are now in teams gunning for the championship title. While the likes of Josh Donaldson, a former trade bust, saw his playoff journey end with the Milwaukee Brewers against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card, the story is different for the Baltimore Orioles.
Despite the Orioles’ Game 1 ALDS loss to the Texas Rangers, former Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks stepped up. In his four at-bats, Hicks managed two walks and a strikeout, wrapping up with an impressive .500 OBP. Hicks’ ability to get on base twice offered his team some scoring chances, raising expectations for a stronger Game 2 performance against Texas.
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Recalling Hicks’ history, he inked a seven-year, $70 million contract with the Yankees back in 2019, binding the Bombers to pay him through the 2025 season.
At 34, Hicks took to the field in 28 games for the Yankees earlier this season, recording a .188 batting average and .263 OBP. His tally included a home run, five RBIs, and a 49 wRC+. But once he donned the Orioles’ jersey, his fortunes took a turn for the better. Over 65 games, Hicks boasted a .275 batting average, .381 OBP, .425 slugging rate, seven homers, 31 RBIs, and a remarkable 129 wRC+. His time with the Orioles even saw a decrease in his strikeout rate from 26.3% down to 20.8% and a notable 14.8% walk rate.
Leaving the Yankees Behind
It’s intriguing how some players, once they step out of the Bronx, rediscover their form and thrive, as has been the case with Hicks. Despite his injury setbacks, he’s now a key playoff player for an Orioles team with big World Series dreams. Given Hicks’ impending free-agent status and the fact that he’ll still draw $10 million from the Yankees in the coming years, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him continue with Baltimore next season.