You remember Brad Emaus, right? He’s the guy who the Mets installed as the starting second baseman in 2011, whom J.P. Ricciardi insisted, practically drooling in anticipation, would hit 15 home runs per year. Well, after hitting .162 ( with zero home runs), he was released after 14 games, and hasn’t seen a major league pitch since. Well, will Brandon Hicks be the next Brad Emaus?
There is one major difference before we start — Hicks is not being considered for a starting job. He will be a backup infielder if he makes the team. But the Mets bought him from the A’s last November, then quickly put him on the 40-man roster to prevent exposing him to the Rule 5 draft (he has no more options left).
The Mets must really see something in Hicks or they wouldn’t have traded for him when they did, knowing he would take a precious roster spot. Exactly what they see in him is unclear. In parts of three major league seasons spanning 55 games, Hicks has hit a whopping .133, with three home runs and eight RBIs. Oh, he also has 42 strikeouts in 90 at bats. Very Emaus-like.
His minor league stats are underwhelming as well; a .241 batting average. He did manage 80 homers in six years, but he did it while striking out 640 times. It doesn’t seem that Hicks is a particularly effective hitter.
Maybe he’s a slick fielder? Think again — 97 minor league errors, playing mostly at shortstop.
Oh, and he’s already 27 years old. Is he really going to figure it out now? This just seems like Brad Emaus all over again, a player who is getting undeserved love, who will quickly be gone when his “skills” are on full display.
So why did the Mets jump to obtain him? Why didn’t the Mets acquire any major league outfielders? Who knows what Sandy Alderson and his crack crew are thinking.