Hicklen followed a 2 homer game with a 3 homer game in mid-August.
Q: Are there certain aspects of your game you plan to focus on in the Arizona Fall League and was does it mean to you to have 5 of your teammates joining you?
A: Development. That is what the minor leagues are for. While it is one of the biggest opportunities of my life, I’m trying to just stick to the process of becoming a better player and teammate each day and let the rest take care of itself. When I think of a specific area, nothing comes to mind other than continuing to get AB’s under my belt. I want to improve every area of my game, from baserunning to hitting to fielding.
When I look at the ceiling of my athletic abilities, I still have a long way to go. I feel like there is so much more inside of me that I have not unlocked or discovered, but to me, that is the most exciting part because I believe my best days are ahead of me. I am really excited to be paired up with several other Royals guys. Especially getting to roam the outfield with Isbel. He and I have become really close and have continued to develop our craft together.
We basically talk the whole game about what is going on and learning from one another. I think there is this friendly competition between us that knows we are competing against one another in the grand scheme of things, but we both love one another so much we just want each other to succeed.
Q: You had a nice three-game stretch in August when you followed a two-homer game with a three-homer game. Can you speak a little bit about what that felt like?
A: It was special! I had a really tough July and was struggling to get my rhythm back in sync, so I was glad when August 1 hit because mentally I could reset my internal clock. In baseball August is a huge month, you are coming down the last 30 games of your 140 game season and all of your work for the last 11 months comes down to this last stretch and that is pretty cool to think about, in my opinion.
I work so hard in the off-season, I knew I was going to be in a good spot. I was on the phone with my dad right before we were going to play Fayetteville and I just said, “Today is August 1, this is going to be a special month. Time to flip the script.” Sure enough, I started the month off with 3 home runs in 3 days. Moving to the 5 HR in 2 days, it was definitely something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I hadn’t hit a single home run at home all year at home and then I knocked out 5 in two days.
I wasn’t trying to hit a single home run, I just got a good pitch and they ended up going over the fence. I will say my hitting coach and I worked on one slight mechanical adjustment that allowed me to mentally free up my scattered thoughts at the plate. This definitely helped me a lot.