COMMENTARY | When a team is languishing in last place for the third straight year, it is difficult for fans to find hope for the current season. Instead, fans of the Minnesota Twins must look for glimmers of hope for the future.
On Tuesday, May 28, it wasn't just the fact that the Twins won in extra innings that was so exciting. It was the fact that three young Twins played a big part in the victory. The real hope for the future is still in the minor leagues, but it is still good to see the possibility of young players currently in the majors starting to figure it out.
Minnesota Twins' Hicks Flashes Leather, Power in Victory Over Milwaukee Brewers
Good games have been few and far between for Aaron Hicks. The former first-round draft pick has shown flashes of talent but has struggled mightily after the Twins decided to have him skip Class AAA Rochester and start the season with the Twins.
Coming into Tuesday's game, Hicks has batted .154/.235/.275 in 44 games. Hicks, a switch hitter, has hit .123/.206/.184 from the left side. About the only thing that has kept him in the majors was an injury to backup center fielder Darin Mastroianni.
Hicks had been falling into a bad pattern of trying to pull every pitch he sees. This is why it was so nice to see him lead off the 14th inning on Tuesday with a double to the left-center field gap that he hit from the left side.
Hicks also homered from the left side to right-center field. This came not long after he took away a home run from former Twin Carlos Gomez, who tipped his hat to Hicks following the brilliant catch.
This was the second time Hicks robbed someone of a home run. In both games, he ended up hitting two extra-base hits. The Twins need to find a way to get Hicks to rob someone of a home run in future games so he can start hitting the ball with authority.
Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier Gets on Base a Career-High Four Times in Victory
Brian Dozier isn't a rookie any longer and isn't all that young after turning 26 on May 15. He has really struggled to hit in the major leagues after batting .298/.370/.409 in 365 minor league games. Dozier came into Tuesday's game batting just .223/.261/.270 in 121 career major league games.
He's hitting even worse in 2013 than he was in 2012, when he batted .234/.271/.332 before being demoted to Rochester in August. However, he came into Tuesday's game batting .197/.238/.270 in 2013.
The Twins have been so patient with Dozier this year in large part because of his defense. He has gone from being a below-average shortstop in 2012 to an above-average second baseman in 2013.
His defense was on display in the 14th inning when he dived to rob a hit with the Twins clinging to a one-run lead. Still, the Twins had to be considering Dozier for a demotion back to Rochester before his breakout game at the plate on Tuesday.
Dozier had three hits and a walk, which was the first time he had reached base four times in a game in his career. Dozier has had a terrible time trying to pull everything, so it was nice to see him single twice up the middle and line out to the right fielder.
Ryan Pressly Continues to Impress With 2 Dominant Innings in Win Over Milwaukee Brewers
The play of Hicks and Dozier helped make a winner of former Rule 5 draft pick Ryan Pressly. He was dominant, pitching two perfect innings with three strikeouts. His peripheral numbers on the year are still poor with 11 walks and 16 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.
However, Pressly's good performance on Tuesday gave him a 1.48 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched). He also has a 1.15 ERA in May with a 0.89 WHIP and a 11/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 15 2/3 innings pitched.
Pressly has looked like someone to keep for the future, which is important for when the Twins' top prospects start making it to the major leagues. Players like Hicks, Dozier and Pressly could be viable options to surround the future stars of the Twins' farm system.
Darin McGilvra has been a professional sportswriter since 1997 and has been a Twins follower since Kirby Puckett's breakout season of 1986. He has been published in The Californian, a newspaper covering Riverside County, and numerous other websites.
Follow Darin on Twitter at @SoCalTwinsfan.More from this author: Minnesota Twins Should Promote Little-Known Antoan Richardson
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