Loser: John Hicks
It’s probably safe to say that had the Detroit Tigers not signed Alex Avila, John Hicks probably would have been in contention—if not the favorite—to replace Jarrod Saltalamacchia as backup catcher.
However, with Avila back in the organization, Hicks looks set to spend the year as Detroit’s third catcher.
The former fourth-round pick could ultimately see playing time, however, he’ll need an injury or roster move to happen ahead of him on the organizational depth chart.
Last season, Hicks proved to be a quality depth piece for the club after join Detroit on a waiver claim in late April.
Over the span of 93 games in the minors last season, the former Mariner hit .310 with a .358 on-base percentage.
Hicks also turned in a .480 slugging percentage, a .838 OPS and 47 RBI.
He also chipped in with 46 runs scored, 23 doubles, 10 home runs, four stolen bases and a triple.
On defense, the 27-year-old threw out 39% of would-be base stealers with Toledo after nabbing 43% of runners with Minnesota’s Triple-A club in Rochester.
Also capable of playing first base, it’s possible that Hicks ends up splitting playing time with fellow backstop Grayson Greiner in Toledo.
The prospect started 2016 with Advanced-A Lakeland but ended up with the Mud Hens at the end of the season.