The Yankees Cannot Keep Batting Aaron Hicks Third If They Want To Score Runs

The Yankees dropped their first series of the year to the Blue Jays, almost entirely due to their lack of offense. Basically nobody on the team hit, so it's unfair to pin it all on one person. And I know people are going to say "It's only three games!!!" but one thing that already needs to change is getting Aaron Hicks out of the three hole. 

I have been on the "Aaron Hicks is not a #3 hitter" train from way before the season started, and these first three games have proved that even more correct. So far, he's 1-12 with with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks. Sure, it's a small sample size, but nothing from his career suggests that he should be hitting third. 

Hicks career slash line with the Yankees 239/.345/.428. The Yankees analytics crowd will cream their pants over the OBP since he does walk a lot, but a #3 hitter just cannot hit .240. He batted .225 last season and .235 the year before. People love to say "batting average doesn't matter" but that is simply not true. It especially matters when you're in the 3-hole. Walks get you on base, but they don't drive in runs. If there's a runner on second with one out, a single probably scores a run. A walk does not. A single can move a runner from first to third. A walk can not. It's absolutely insane that people can't grasp this. If you actually watch Yankees games with your own two eyes instead of just looking at Fangraphs to get all your opinions, you know Hicks is not a #3 hitter. 

I also don't think he's a leadoff hitter, but I will MAYBE consider hearing that argument since he does get on base and work the count. But I'd still rather not have my leadoff hitter hitting well under .250, no matter how much of a dinosaur that makes me. Personally, I'd love to see him hitting like 7th. 

We covered Hicks and a lot more in today's Short Porch. I believe the Yankees offense is fundamentally flawed in their approach at the plate and how they're designed. It's a three true outcomes (home run, walk, strikeout) lineup like it has been for the past several seasons. It'll be fine in the regular season. They'll win 95 games and have a seven home run game against the Orioles in June, and we'll hear all about how lethal this Yankee lineup is. But it's the same team that continually fails to hit good pitching in the postseason year after year. That's why the "it's only three games" argument doesn't hold any weight. The lineup is essentially exactly the same as last season and has been very similar for the past several years. So this is more like drawing conclusions based on three seasons than three games. 


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