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2010-player-preview-brandon-hicks | February | 2010 Articles

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2010 Player Preview: Brandon Hicks

Written by Joe Lucia on .

This evening, we take a look at someone who has fallen from grace...though he shouldn't have been that high up in people's minds in the first place. Brandon Hicks was anointed as the successor to Chipper Jones at third base after a .313/.433/.492 line in 2007 after 37 games at Rome. Since that back end of a season for Hicks, its been a steady decline for the former top star. In 2008, his OPS dropped down to .815 with a more reasonable .300 BABIP and a great .246 ISO. There was a major red flag thrown up however: Hicks struck out 122 times in only 346 at bats in Myrtle Beach. Its not exactly Cody Johnson, but 35.7% is really, really dire. He had a good 11.3% walk rate, but thats still a ratio of 0.37. Ick. Then we moved on the 2009, and the wheels completely fell off. Hicks's OPS plummeted to .692, his walk rate dropped to 9.9%, and the batting average went all the way down to .237. The screwed up part? His BABIP was actually higher than 2008, and .306. The star has lost its shine, and people are freaking out. One positive to take from 2009: Hicks dropped his strikeout rate all the way down to 28.2%. Still pretty bad...but not totally dire. He showed good speed, stealing 17 bases and only being caught once. His ISO is down to .136, which is around what you'd expect from a middle infielder. But for a 3B, like Hicks has been projected as? Just not acceptable unless your name is Casey Kotchman. But...is Brandon Hicks really done? His time in the AFL would speak otherwise, as Hicks bounced back in a big way, posting a line of .310/.423/.425. The power is still way off, but the strikeout rate is all the way down to 19.5%, and the walk rate is a sexy 13.8%. But...don't take the batting average by heart. His BABIP was .371. Regardless, Hicks will start at Gwinnett and likely will get the call to the bigs if he's not playing as horrible as he did in 2009 if theres an injury to a starter. Final projection: starts in Gwinnett, possible callup to the majors if there is an injury.
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