There has never been a question about Aaron Hicks ’talent. So it was no surprise Tuesday night when the outfielder sent the ball through the wall of the right field for his first home run of the season. Hicks has always had abilities and power that intrigue the Yankees.
It was just his ability to stay on the field.
Having missed almost the entire 2021 season due to a torn ligament sheath on his wrist, Hicks is back to show that he can make a big contribution to this team. So far, Hicks has been hit in all but one of the Yankees ’five games this season, reaching .308 / .438 / .538 with .976 OPS.
“I feel like he’s still finding his way, but it’s a good thing he’s getting to base,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He gets his punches. Very nice to see him go the other way with his right hand. That’s what his games are, especially here. I don’t think he felt he even got it, but he snatched it from there. So nice to see you. Obviously, last season was lost for him. I know that he worked a lot in the winter, was going to play winter ball, but also physically prepared. He played a lot in spring training. He took a lot of on-beats even on days when he wasn’t playing, so he would be willing to go and he came and really contributed.
“And today he set us an offensive tone with a big first hit.”
Hicks ’first Homer of the season was in the second inning, his first in the bat, from left-hander Blue Jess Usai Kikuchi.
“I didn’t know,” Hicks said of the 365-foot. “I mean, I knew it hit well, but didn’t think it would work out. I thought that maybe I could get off the wall or at least be able to make a sacrifice [fly]».
Instead, he went through the wall and put the Yankees ahead 2-0. It was the first time this season the Bombers scored the first goal of the game.
This is a relief for Hicks after the struggle of the last few years. Since signing a seven-year, $ 70 million deal in the spring of 2019, Hicks has played just 145 games in three seasons due to injuries that included Tommy John’s surgery and wrist surgery last season. This opened the door for questions about his future here.
But this winter Hicks made a commitment to return. This included a trip to the Dominican Republic to play in their winter league. Hicks believes it helped him get off to a strong start this season.
“I’m just trying to get out there and play right now. Just play and enjoy the moment and enjoy what I’m doing, ”Hicks said. “And just take it day after day. Don’t really try to think too much about it. But you know, going to play DR definitely helped a lot with that, and the opportunity to do spring workouts and then especially short spring workouts, but I felt very comfortable while I was in DR. So now I’m playing my first couple of games. I feel good. “
If Hicks can maintain his health and stay on the field, his ability to switch punches and punches with force will help in a crime that was difficult last season. Boone believes this is already the best crime, and Hicks agrees.
“I mean, I feel like the team in the past was kind of more basic. This team is already going from first to third. Guys are moving guys, ”Hicks said. “The guys are still beating with force, but it’s definitely something different from years past.”
On Tuesday night, Hicks also had to deal with a slightly different defense. Against the left Kikuchi “Yankees” sat left forward Joey Halo and used Giancarlo Stanton in the right field. They moved Aaron Judge to the center, and Hicks – to the left, which he has not played in major league matches since September 29, 2017.
“Just like my first route, it was shaky at first,” Hicks said with a smile. “But I mean when I started to feel a little more comfortable. Everything was fine, a field of four confused me. But overall, I feel like it was pretty, pretty good. ”