John Hicks
John Hicks
30-Year-Old CatcherC
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Hicks received a career-high 312 plate appearances in 2018, starting 20 games behind the plate and another 56 at first base. He hit a respectable .260/.312/.403, good for a 95 wRC+, perfectly fine for a catcher but not nearly good enough for a first baseman. Hicks is not going to take over as the primary catcher, but with Miguel Cabrera possibly starting more games at designated hitter now that Victor Martinez has retired, occasional starts at first base will be open for Hicks. At 29 years old and without much on his resume, Hicks is unlikely to be part of the Tigers' future. That said, the team doesn't really have many major-league-ready prospects beating down the door to take Hicks' roster spot in 2019. He could be a deep-league catcher fill-in if he falls into more at-bats than expected. Read Past Outlooks
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$Claimed off waivers by Detroit in April 2016.
Elects free agency
CFree Agent  
October 24, 2019
Hicks was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo on Thursday and elected free agency.
The 30-year-old saw inconsistent playing time throughout 2019 as the Tigers opted to give younger players some major-league experience. A change of scenery could help Hicks carve out a more established role, potentially in a more consistent timeshare, although he has shown to have below-average offensive production throughout his career. Hicks struggled at the plate last season, hitting just .210/.240/.379 with a 32.7 percent strikeout rate.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .748 246 28 8 27 1 .256 .317 .430
Since 2017vs Right .663 589 61 20 62 2 .235 .274 .390
2019vs Left .686 90 10 3 9 0 .241 .289 .398
2019vs Right .595 243 19 10 26 1 .199 .222 .373
2018vs Left .822 90 13 2 10 0 .291 .367 .456
2018vs Right .672 222 22 7 22 0 .249 .290 .383
2017vs Left .731 66 5 3 8 1 .230 .288 .443
2017vs Right .784 124 20 3 14 1 .286 .347 .438
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .689 393 48 11 42 2 .251 .301 .388
Since 2017Away .686 442 41 17 47 1 .233 .274 .412
2019Home .628 147 14 6 17 1 .220 .245 .383
2019Away .613 186 15 7 18 0 .202 .237 .376
2018Home .748 153 17 2 15 0 .300 .355 .393
2018Away .683 159 18 7 17 0 .223 .270 .412
2017Home .691 93 17 3 10 1 .220 .301 .390
2017Away .834 97 8 3 12 1 .308 .351 .484
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Stat Review
How does John Hicks compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
87.9 mph
Hard Hit Rate
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring John Hicks
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
28 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
80 days ago
Erik Siegrist looks over the available talent on the AL waiver wire and notes a number of prospects who got pre-September promotions, including the Mariners' Jake Fraley.
The Z Files: Stealing Points
117 days ago
Todd Zola examines ways to improve your position in stolen bases and whether it's worth acquiring or deploying a speedster like Mallex Smith.
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Picks
148 days ago
Adam Zdroik looks over Tuesday's slate, keying on Justin Verlander as an easy choice against the Reds.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
150 days ago
Erik Siegrist looks over an unusually shallow free-agent poll in the American League and thinks Joey Wendle should be a solid consolation prize if you miss out on the Yordan Alvarez sweepstakes.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
The Tigers leaned on Hicks for a career-high 190 plate appearances last season, as injuries to Miguel Cabrera created an occasional need for help at first base, and the organization's lack of depth at the position prompted Hicks to move out from behind the plate. The opportunity went better than his brief run in Seattle in 2015, as he showed some power when he was able to connect, but opposing pitchers seemed to figure him out later in the year, as he went 8-for-53 with 17 strikeouts over the Tigers' final 30 games. Even if Cabrera is unable to return to his previous workhorse level volume of playing time, it seems likely that a better backup option will be in place before Opening Day. Additionally, Hicks is unlikely to usurp James McCann for a larger role behind the plate, so it's difficult to expect anything more from him in 2018.
Hicks has bounced around the minors for the majority of his career thus far, appearing briefly for the Mariners in 2015 before being waived by them. The catcher was claimed by the Twins and started the 2016 season with their Triple-A Rochester affiliate, where he batted .242 in nine games before being waived and picked up by the Tigers, who assigned him to their Double-A affiliate Erie. Hicks excelled there, slashing .388/.426/.510 in 14 games before being promoted to Triple-A Toledo. There he slashed .303/.356/.485 in 70 games, swatting 8 homers to go along with his 42 RBI before being called up to the majors. The 27-year-old played in only one game for the Tigers after being called up, going 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting free agency, the Tigers are in need of a backup for James McCann, a role that could belong to Hicks barring any free agent signings.
The Mariners designated Hicks for assignment when they signed Chris Iannetta in the offseason. Hicks was snatched off waivers by Minnesota, where he will add depth at catcher behind Kurt Suzuki and John Ryan Murphy. He hit a combined .290 across two levels in 2014, but poor plate discipline and contact issues caught up with him in 83 Triple-A games last season when he posted a .644 OPS. He had two hits in 32 at-bats with the Mariners after a late-season callup, and he'll likely be back at Triple-A this season as an organizational depth option for the Twins.
A .296/.362/.418 batting line in 53 games with Double-A Jackson earned Hicks a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma in mid-July. The move up came with some slight growing pains, but Hicks got back on track in the Arizona Fall League, slashing an impressive .304/.396/.522 with two homers and a 6:7 BB:K in 13 games. It was enough to convince the Mariners he warranted protection from the Rule 5 draft, and they went ahead and added Hicks to their 40-man roster in November. The 25-year-old may very well get a chance to compete with Jesus Sucre for the backup job in spring training, but Hicks' power has dried up for the most part in recent seasons -- he's managed just nine homers over the last two years after smacking 15 in 2012 -- and it's unlikely he would hold value in any format in such a limited role.
More Fantasy News
Delivers clutch home run off bench
CDetroit Tigers  
September 28, 2019
Appearing as a pinch hitter, Hicks hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the ninth inning of the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against the White Sox.
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Smashes walkoff grand slam
CDetroit Tigers  
September 14, 2019
Hicks went 3-for-4 with a walkoff grand slam in an 8-4 extra-innings victory against the Orioles on Saturday.
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Rejoins lineup Sunday
CDetroit Tigers  
September 8, 2019
Hicks (illness) is starting at first base Sunday against the Athletics.
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Remains absent
CDetroit Tigers  
September 7, 2019
Hicks (illness) remains out of the lineup Saturday against Oakland.
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Still sitting Friday
CDetroit Tigers  
September 6, 2019
Hicks (illness) remains on the bench Friday against the Athletics.
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