Monday, November 30, 2015

ICYMI:Torii Hunter Gives Advice to Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees acquired a young and talented center fielder by the name of Aaron Hicks this offseason in the trade that sent John Ryan Murphy to the Minnesota Twins. Already we’ve heard rave reviews of Hicks in regards to his defense, his speed and his up-and-coming back. Hicks credits his turnaround season in 2015 to a phone call from one Hall of Fame player, Rod Carew, and now the young switch-hitter may be able to look back and credit his 2016 season success to a discussion with a potential future Hall of Fame player, Torii Hunter.

Hunter, a longtime Twins player, revealed this winter some advice that he gave who he called an “immature” Hicks in hopes of helping him for the remainder of his career. Hicks has played in the majors for three seasons now and it is likely not a coincidence that his best and breakout season came in 2015 with Hunter as a teammate.

Torii signed a one year deal with the Twins knowing that 2015 was his final season and opened himself up to any and all questions that the young Minnesota players may have had. Hunter notes that no player was more receptive to the advice and help than Hicks. Hunter took Hicks under his wing and in an interview with the New York Post Twins manager Paul Molitor even noted that Torri “took it personally to help Aaron.”

Hunter focused more on the mental side of the game rather than the physical side with Hicks. The tools are there are Aaron, Hunter thought the mental aspect needed some help. Hunter would tell Hicks to “be warm before it was time to be warm” and “be loose before it was time to be loose” so he could pay attention to who was pitching and look at the game with a “third eye.”

Hicks is trying to be the 2016 version of both Nathan Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius. With all the Yankees coaching staff, trainers, staff and teammates by his side and the wisdom of a Torii Hunter and a Rod Carew in his head how could he not succeed?

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)