Brandon Hicks, who was purchased by the Mets from the Athletics earlier this off-season, will be trying for a utility position on the Mets roster outside of camp. He has a few things going for him and some critical items against him.
On the positive side he can play short stop and third base, which makes him valuable for a late inning defense replacement.
Through age 26, he has had 90 at bats in the majors with only 12 hits (.133 BA) while scoring 16 runs, hitting 5 doubles and three homers while walking 8 times. So the positive: when he hits, he hits for power, some nice pop on the bench. The negative: he doesn’t really hit, at all. He didn’t really hit in the minors either. In six years, he’s hit .241, however the power game has always been there in the minors. Last year, in only 90 games, he hit 18 homers. The year before, in 104 games, he hit 18 homers. In 2009 (128 games) and 2010 (77 games) he had a bit of a power outage hitting 10 homers and 7 homers respectively. The previous years he had 19 and 20 homers.
The potential for power off of the bench is seductive, however the lack of consistent hitting is something to be concerned about. Hicks is the type of player for this team that could be memorable or completely forgettable. He can join this team or not out of camp and I’m not sure I would personally care.
In short, Hicks is an interesting player. He fills a defensive need and has some mysterious power. He just doesn’t hit. If he did hit though, he wouldn’t be a utility player, so there’s that.