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March 7, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks (63) hits a solo home run during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Should Twins play Hicks now or wait to gain extra season of control?

Aaron Hicks made a strong case to be the Twins starting center fielder on Opening Day, going 4-for-5 with three homers, six RBIs, and a stolen base in a split squad game against the Phillies.

Still might not be good enough.

Even if Hicks continues his strong Spring Training performance, he may start the season at Triple-A Rochester. This is what Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports had to say about the likely dilemma the Twins will face at the end of Spring Training:

There’s an argument for sending Hicks to Triple-A for a month or two, in part because he’s never played above Double-A and in part because doing so would give the Twins an extra season of pre-free agency control, but Hicks is making that a tough sell to say the least.

Hicks, 23, is no doubt the player the club had in mind to take over at center field when they traded away Denard Span and Ben Revere in the offseason. If Hicks doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, expect Darin Mastroianni to roam center for the time being.

Tags: Aaron Hicks Darin Mastroianni Minnesota Twins

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