Seattle Selects Hultzen’s Battery Mate, John Hicks, at #123

Jay Yencich · June 7, 2011 at 10:46 am · Filed Under Mariners 

We’ve seen stuff like this happen before. Remember when we picked Ackley and half his draft-eligible teammates and some other guys who happened to be in state? Maybe we’re going to do it again this year with Hultzen and his posse.

The trouble with Hicks is that he’s considered a fringy catcher, a guy that is not entirely a lock to stick, which means that most of the news articles you’ll see on this guy in the coming years are going to mention Roger Hansen in some way. If he stays behind the plate, the offense is pretty good for it. The batting line this season is .339/.383/.516 with a 18/17 K/BB. He’s thought of as more of a gap hitter than anything else, and that shows up as a quarter of his hits went for doubles. He kind of slashes at the ball with a bit of an uppercut, but the loft seems decent enough and since it’s 2011 footage, the pop seems legitimate enough.

As a catcher, he’s not a bad pick. If he has to move off to really any other position, he’s not that exciting, and the best case scenario would be something like Chris Gimenez where he catches off and on and plays corner infield and outfield the rest of the time. That’s not so interesting a player, so hopefully he sticks behind the plate and somehow helps convince Hultzen to come on over.

UVa Bio
YouTube: Hicks defense and hitting


12 Responses to “Seattle Selects Hultzen’s Battery Mate, John Hicks, at #123”

  1. mlathrop3 on June 7th, 2011 10:53 am

    I’m sure they saw a lot of this guy when they were scouting Hultzen. Maybe he “calls a good game” ala RoJo.

  2. jordan on June 7th, 2011 10:56 am


  3. EricL on June 7th, 2011 11:10 am

    Keith Law projects him as average defensively, and his bat making him “at least an everyday guy, perhaps a little better.”

  4. groundzero55 on June 7th, 2011 11:15 am

    We also took another catcher in the 5th round. High school kid out of Florida, righty.

  5. usabaseballfan on June 7th, 2011 11:42 am

    “Hopefully he helps convince Hultzen to come on over?” Are we really worried about Hultzen returning to school?

  6. Jay Yencich on June 7th, 2011 11:44 am

    Are we really worried about Hultzen returning to school?

    There are weird reports going around that if he goes to med school he gets a $20 million dollar inheritance. So he either makes millions of doctors by becoming a doctor or makes millions of dollars by becoming a baseball player. Rock and a hard place.

  7. The Ancient Mariner on June 7th, 2011 11:46 am

    There are weird reports going around

    Is there a time limit on that? After all, he could certainly go to med school later.

  8. Jay Yencich on June 7th, 2011 11:49 am

    Is there a time limit on that? After all, he could certainly go to med school later.

    I haven’t looked into it so for all I know one of the requirements is a madcap race around the world.

  9. The Ancient Mariner on June 7th, 2011 11:55 am

    Nice. 🙂

  10. philosofool on June 7th, 2011 11:58 am

    The inheritance rumor doesn’t quite pass the smell test to me. “If you go to med school, I will give you so much money you never have to work a day in your life. Indeed, this is so important to me that I will undermine your interest in pursuing the one thing you are so good at it could easily blow the money you make as a doctor out of the water. No, I don’t really care if you are not passionate about medicine. Also, although I could let you inherit this money for nothing, I insist on letting you inherit it only if you go to med school.” It’s a pretty bizarre idea, if you ask me. This looks like an attempt to leverage money from the team, but any decent agent will do a better job than telling a story about $20,000,000–which is waaaay more than Hultzen is worth.

  11. bookbook on June 7th, 2011 1:19 pm

    There’s a term for these kind of incentives in wills – “character clauses” or somesuch. They are not at all rare among the fraction of one percent who are richer than medieval aristocrats were.

    It’s an attempt to direct one’s descendents’ life from beyond the grave- which I agree is kind of icky. The broad justification is the fear that dumping a pile of money on a young adult might ruin any motivation they have to be more useful to the world than Paris Hilton.

    But if Grandpa Hultzen said to himself, “I might leave this money to build a new hospital wing and help people that way. Or you no-good kids can follow in my footsteps by becoming doctors.” He might have felt justified.

  12. HighBrie on June 8th, 2011 7:18 am

    Does it seem to anyone that the Mariners (whether Macnamara or Jack) put an undue amount of emphasis on the value of “winners and gamers”? I know I wasn’t as determined to explain the Mariner draft strategy when I was happier with the results, but clearly the Mariners have been scouting winning programs from the ACC (and SEC) and have come to the conclusion that they like these programs. I’ve read a lot of stuff from the FO about how Seager, Ackley, and Smoak “come from a culture of winning” (“know how to win” and other pithy expressions). Is this an important factor in the makeup of a prospect (I vote for “not really”), and is it a tie-breaker for the M’s?

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