Why Aaron Hicks should remain the Yankees’ three hitter

The Yankees have solidified Aaron Hicks as the number three batter in the lineup. Since early in the 2020 season, Aaron Boone and the coaching staff have been adamant about batting Hicks third. However, since the start of the 2021 season, Hicks hasn’t been able to produce. This has fans questioning why Hicks is batting third. Boone acknowledged it but noted that it’s too early to make a switch. Personally, I think he’s right.

Why should Hicks be there?

The Yankees are only one week into the season, and it’s not uncommon that players get off to a slow start. It’s clear that Hicks isn’t seeing the ball well. He’s struck out seven times in eighteen plate appearances and just hasn’t looked good. However, that doesn’t mean Boone needs to pull the trigger so soon. Especially since he’s had so much success batting third in the past. 

In 2020, Hicks hit third in 32 games. Out of those 32 games, Hicks managed to get on base at least once in 28 of them. That means that in those games, Hicks had a .361 on-base percentage. 

So far this year, Hicks has been batting behind LeMahieu and Judge. Last year, LeMahieu had an OBP of .421, and Judge had an OBP of .336. That means that your first three batters all have an above-average on-base percentage. From that standpoint, Hicks fits perfectly. His speed and ability to get on base are perfect for the Yankees lineup. He’s able to extend innings and give power hitters like Stanton, Voit, and Sanchez, a chance to do something big. Not to mention, his switch-hitting ability always gives him the advantage against pitchers.

Hicks is too good of a hitter to be batting any lower. Basing this decision on his production so far this year is extremely unfair. The sample size is too small. Right now, his strikeout percentage stands at 38.9%. However, if you look at his career, it’s only 21%. That’s the third-lowest on the team behind LeMahieu (14.7%) and Urshela (17.7%). It goes to show that we need to see more. If Hicks keeps striking out as frequently, Boone should move him. However, I’m almost positive this number will eventually flatten out. 

To wrap things up, I think Hicks will remain the three-hitter for the foreseeable future. Until his struggles become more consistent, I think Boone will keep him there. To me, it’s the perfect spot for him if he plays the way he normally does. 

Tune in on Friday to see Aaron Hicks and the Yankees as they begin a three-game set against the Rays!

Mentioned in this article:

More about: