Seattle Mariners catching prospect John Hicks was immediately known to many fans around the team, despite the fact that he was "only" a fourth round pick. That's because Hicks was a teammate at Virginia of the teams top pick, Danny Hultzen. But Hicks is a real prospect in his own right.
The right-handed catcher hit .309/.331/.446 with Clinton during his debut season and moved up to the hitter-friendly Cal League this year and was... very hitter-friendly. Hicks hit .312/.351/.472 with 15 HR and 32 doubles in 506 at-bats. If there was one knock in particular though, it's that the catcher got worse at the plate as the season went along, hitting .299/.340/.381 in August, the lowest OPS he posted all season. He posted a similar batting line in July and when hitting for High Desert, you'd like to see more power than that.
As a catcher, he threw out 54% of would-be base-stealers and committed eight errors with 20 passed balls.
Hicks has a strong arm but if he wants to advance to the majors, he may need to work a bit on his overall catcher defense or tap into the power potential that the Mariners saw in him when he was drafted. Double-A Jackson will be a good test of that in 2013.