Aaron Hicks has been the Yankees’ starting center fielder since 2016, and he is currently on pace for a career-high in homers. However, this season may not be his best chance at making Yankee history: according to MLB rules, if Aaron does not retire or get traded by 2022, he could make up to $650 million with his current contract.
Aaron Hicks is a Yankee outfielder who has been in the MLB since 2012. He believes he can make history by hitting .300 with 40 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2022, which would be his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
Hicks, Aaron of the New York Yankees aspires to go where Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter never went: the 30-30 club.
The 30-30 Club is not the club mentioned by Jay-Z in his song “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” That’s what the 40/40 Club is all about. (Which, incidentally, is a little baseball fraternity, but that’s an other topic.)
Even if we don’t know what he’s hoping for, such a thinking seems unlikely, particularly considering the veteran outfielder’s injury history. How could he do something that three of the franchise’s best players have never done before?
At the very least, no one can accuse Hicks of settling for mediocrity as he prepares for his sixth season with the Bronx Bombers.
Hicks, Aaron, a Yankees outfielder, aims to join the 30-30 club this season.
Hicks, Aaron of the New York Yankees aims to join the 30-30 club this season | Getty Images/Jim McIsaac
If you’ve never heard of the 30-30 club, it’s a really basic concept. Only a few players, including Hank Aaron and Willie Mays of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, have hit at least 30 home runs and stolen at least 30 bases in the same season. There are 43 players in the elite group entering the 2022 season, five of whom have 500 home runs.
Barry Bonds, Jeff Bagwell, and Vladimir Guerrero, all baseball icons, all had several seasons in which they were in the top 30 in each category. Between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, four players accomplished the accomplishment, after no one had done it between 2013 and 2017. After no players reached the 30-30 club during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullens was the only player to do it in 2021.
Hicks, who hasn’t played a complete season since 2018 and is coming off wrist surgery, feels he’s next in line, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. The veteran outfielder and probable starting center fielder detailed why he has the 30-30 club in sight while discussing why his approach at the bat hasn’t worked in previous seasons.
“I wanted to hit the ball in the air and see what would happen.” It’s now as if I want to obtain more hits. I want to put my speed to better use; I want to bunt more. The last time I achieved it in a single season was probably in 2017, and I was on the verge of attending an All-Star Game.”
The 30-30 club has been attained by two Yankees. Barry Bonds’ father, outfielder Bobby Bonds, did so in 1975, his lone season with the Bronx Bombers. In 2002 and 2003, Alfonso Soriano, the team’s starting second baseman, accomplished the feat.
If Hicks achieves his objective of hitting 30 home runs and swiping 30 bases, the 32-year-old would become the Yankees’ oldest player ever. Despite the fact that the switch-hitter doesn’t turn 33 until Oct. 2, he’ll be the oldest Yankee in the 30-30 club nonetheless.
Given his injury history, Hicks is obviously dreaming big.
It’s not as unpopular as you may believe, but here’s the harsh reality.
Hicks, Aaron hasn’t played in a full season since 2018 where he played in 137 games at 28 years old.
In 2019, there will be 59 games. In 2021, there will be 32 games.
Hicks had a hard time staying on the field. He is now 32 years old. He’s constantly hurting. https://t.co/IqhtjjZ1lb
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) December 3, 2021
In theory, hitting six home runs and stealing six bases every month is the easiest way to join the 30-30 clubs. In a regular year, the player in question would have at least 30 of each by September 1 and would be there or very near this year. If Hicks did five and five every month, he’d be in the 30-30 club by the last week or two of the regular season.
The only issue is that Hicks must play in order to have a shot of achieving 10 and 10, much alone 30 and 30.
Hicks appeared in 54 of a possible 60 games in 2020, but just 59 of a possible 162 appearances the year before. To be fair, his 12 home runs in those 59 games placed him on track for his first career 30-home run season, so the power factor was on his side. Last season, he hit four home runs in 32 games, equating to nearly 20 home runs throughout the course of the season.
However, all of those figures are contingent on his being healthy. In his first five non-pandemic-affected seasons with the Yankees, Hicks only appeared in at least 100 games twice. There’s no reason to suppose he won’t be placed on the disabled list this summer, particularly if his wrist continues to bother him.
So, how likely is it for Hicks to join the 30-30 club?
Hicks was predicted to hit.223 with 11 home runs and three stolen bases in 320 plate appearances by Baseball Reference at the time of publishing. That isn’t ideal if he wants to join the 30-30 club, to say the least. Hicks had just 55 stolen bases in nine seasons, and he’s only reached double digits three times during that period.
How many stolen bases has Hicks had in his career? In 2015, his last season with the Minnesota Twins, he hit 13 home runs. Again, this is not ideal.
Of course, Hicks has a chance to join the 30-30 club, but the chances aren’t in his favor. He’s an injury-prone outfielder who struggled in limited play last season and is now 32 years old. Rarely do players, particularly those entering their tenth major-league season, make the kind of leap Hicks intends to make at this point in their careers. Maybe a hitter who averages 26-28 home runs will finally top 30, or a veteran pitcher who averages 180 strikeouts per season will get to 200. At 32 years old, though, those batters seldom smash 50 home runs, and those pitchers rarely record 320 strikeouts.
Yankees supporters, on the other hand, are unlikely to object to Hicks’ high dreams. They’ll keep their whining and phone calls to WFAN until Memorial Day, when the switch-hitting outfielder hits below.200.
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Aaron Hicks is a Yankee outfielder who is one of the most talented players in baseball. He’s currently on the team’s roster and will be for the next few years. In 2022, he believes he can make franchise history by hitting .400 with 28 home runs. Reference: aaron hicks news.
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