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2023 Player Outlook

2023 Recap: Hicks is a hard-throwing righty who has spent the last couple of seasons primarily as a reliever. However, the Giants are going to give him an opportunity to start. In the majors, he’s started eight games since 2018, posting a 5.47 ERA and 1.56 WHIP across those 26.1 IP. In 2023, his overall numbers were solid, despite his 3-9 record. His strikeout rate dipped when he went to Toronto, but for the 2023 season as a whole, he posted a career-best 28.4 percent strikeout rate and 30.9 O-Swing%. It was also the second time in his entire career he posted a double-digit swinging strike rate (10.6%). 

2024 Outlook: Hicks’ arsenal lends itself to a ton of ground balls, and when you combine that with his new home park, home runs will not be an issue for Hicks in 2024. On a per inning basis, Hicks could be an interesting fantasy asset, but I’m worried about the switch back to a starter after effectively being a full-time reliever for the past half-decade. He hasn’t thrown more than 80 innings in a season since 2017 (105 IP in the minors), and since entering the bigs, his highest is 77.2 IP in 2018. It’s not guaranteed that he’ll be a starter, but the plan is to stretch him out as such. Even if all goes well, I can’t imagine they push him much past 100-110 IP in 2024, which makes him a risky draft pick the more his name creeps up the draft board.

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