Joe Hicks (minors04)

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Joseph Anthony Hicks

Minors BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Joe Hicks hit over 160 home runs in his professional career. Despite significant time at AAA, he never made the big leagues.

He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1st round of the January 1978 amateur draft and played eight seasons in their organization, including five years at the AAA level.

Joe debuted in 1978 with the Geneva Cubs (.323/.414/.485 in 71 G) and Pompano Beach Cubs (.236/.353/.306 in 25 G). Hicks led the New York-Penn League in at-bats (291) and RBI (74) and tied Brian Dayett for the most doubles (20). He was 5th in the league in average. He was named the All-Star 1B.

In 1979, Hicks hit .299/.398/.456 for the Quad Cities Cubs. He led Midwest League first basemen in putouts (1,180), assists (78), errors (26) and double plays (97). He was 7th in the MWL in average in another productive season at the plate.

Joe had a fine AA season with the 1980 Midland Cubs, producing at a .289/.378/.518 rate with 24 home runs and 87 RBI. He improved his fielding, cutting his error total to 12. He was one of two players named Joe Hicks in the circuit as Joe D. Hicks was also active in the '80 Texas League. This Joe tied Tom Brunansky for second in the league in home runs, but was left off the All-Star team as batting champ Daryl Sconiers was chosen at first base instead.

The Indiana native made it to AAA at age 23, with a good shot at the major leagues. He struggled for the '81 Iowa Cubs, though, hitting .240/.341/.421 with 16 home runs. It didn't help Hicks's major league chances that the Cubs had just acquired Leon Durham, effectively blocking him from a job in The Show.

In 1982, Hicks hit .311/.355/.529 in 66 games for Iowa. The next season, the third-year AAA man produced at a .238/.316/.414 rate in 78 contests, continuing his roller-coaster ride at the minors' highest level.

Hicks had his best minor league campaign in 1984, again with Iowa. He batted .266/.344/.574 with 37 home runs, 87 runs and 90 RBI though he did strike out 155 times. Joe led the American Association in circuit clouts, making him one of the rare AAA home run kings who never played in the majors. He failed to make the American Association All-Star team when Alan Knicely was chosen at first base.

Hicks then signed with Japan's Hankyu Braves. His batting line in 1985 was .207/.289/.460 with 22 homers and 91 K in 285 AB.

Back in the US, Joe batted .223/?/.435 with 18 long balls for Iowa in '86. He ended up his minor league career with the New York Yankees chain in 1987, batting .260 and slugging .438 in 100 games between the Prince William Yankees and Albany-Colonie Yankees.

Hicks played for the Gold Coast Suns in the inaugural 1988-89 season of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, hitting .248 with a pair of homers in 43 games.

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