A message to MLB baserunners: Don’t test the arm strength of Aaron Hicks.
Danny Valencia learned that lesson the hard way. In the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics, Valencia was on third base when a routine fly ball was hit to left field. Hicks camped out underneath it and Valencia got in position to tag up. What happened next made MLB history:
The previous record for fastest outfield throw had been held by Houston’s Carlos Gomez, who uncorked a 103.1-mph zinger last September. Since Statcast has only been around since 2014, the sample size isn’t huge, but an 105.5-mph outfield assist is ridiculously impressive any way you look at it.
The 26-year old Hicks has built a reputation for rocket-powered throws. In early April, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told NYDailyNews.com the Hicks’s arm is like “Zeus throwing lightning bolts from Mount Olympus.” Here he is in 2013, delivering a dart from just inside the warning track to nab Vernon Wells at third base:
Hicks’s nine outfield assists last season were the 11th-most in the American League.
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