Aaron Hicks makes waves in Twins’ system

I mentioned in a recent post that Baseball America named Aaron Hicks the No. 1 prospect in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system.

This was no surprise, considering Hicks was drafted in the first round last year. But I wanted to know more about him. Here’s what I found:

  • Baseball America calls him a "toolsy" outfielder. It says he has the best outfield arm and is the best defensive outfielder in the system, but that he also has the best strike-zone discipline in the system and is the best athlete.
  • Hicks walked nearly as many times as he struck out (28 BBs, 32 Ks) last year for the Gulf Coast League Twins. That’s an impressive accomplishment for someone his age playing short-season ball. He hit .318 and had a .409 OBP with four homers and 12 steals in 45 games.
  • Baseball America had already named Hicks the top prospect in all of the Gulf Coast League a couple months ago.
  • It sounds like he’ll open 2009 at Class A Beloit. Beloit’s outfield next year could be Hicks, Ben Revere and Angel Morales, all of whom are among the team’s top 10 prospects according to BA. Revere could open at Fort Myers, though.
  • In multiple places scouts said Hicks was the best prospect to come out of the Los Angeles area since Darryl Strawberry in the early 1980s.
  • A number of major league teams considered drafting him as a pitcher. He throws in the 90s.

Well, there’s some info to chew on it. That’s part of the fun with prospects. Hicks could come through like Joe Mauer, or he could flounder like Pat Mahomes or David McCarty before him. You never know.

And finally, in my neverending effort to provide YouTube videos, here’s all I could find on Hicks from last season with the GCL Twins. It’s a plate appearance where he walks, so it’s not much.

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The toasts of Black Friday

I can’t stand the day after Thanksgiving, which is now commonly referred to as Black Friday.

Everyone and their brother gets up at 4:30 a.m. to get in line for a store’s best sales of the year. That is assuming those people aren’t among those camped outside the building.

What if the last on-sale DVD player or that video game system you wanted has been sold? What if you’re late to the party?

I can think of 53 players who feel late to the party every Sunday, or in this case, Thursday. They all play for the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

The Lions fell to 0-12 yesterday with a 47-10 loss to Tennessee, torturing those of us who enjoy sitting around on Thanksgiving to watch good football while at the same time putting themselves just four losses away from NFL history.

No team has ever gone 0-16. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went winless in their expansion season of 1976, but that was with a 14-game schedule.

Every year there’s always one team that starts out winless for the bulk of its schedule. I mean, someone has to be the last team to win their first game of the season. However, it doesn’t usually take this long to get off the shnide. In fact, only six times in NFL history has a team started 0-12.

The scary thing about this Detroit team is how inept it is on both sides of the football. Entering Week 12 play, the Lions were allowing the most points in the league and scoring the fourth-fewest. They’re last in rushing offense and rushing defense, which is a REALLY bad combination.

"We are desperate for a win," said Lions QB Daunte Culpepper after the game.

But the big question is, "When will that happen?"

The Lions close out the season like this: host Minnesota, at Indianapolis, host New Orleans, at Green Bay.

Those are all teams in playoff contention, though the Saints and Packers could be out of contention by the time those games come up on the schedule.

I’m really not sure if this team can win a game. If I had to say now, I don’t think it will happen. What say you readers, assuming you’re not amongst those creating mass chaos at Fargo-Moorhead department and electronics stores? Do you think the Lions will win?

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