Hicks' number switch a natural progression

Hicks' number switch a natural progression

MINNEAPOLIS -- Top prospect Aaron Hicks, who wore No. 5 and No. 31 in the Minor Leagues, explained his rationale for choosing to wear No. 32 for the Twins.

Hicks, who had his first Major League hit in Thursday's win over Detroit, said he wore the No. 31 in the Minor Leagues to honor his father, Joe, who wore that number as a Minor Leaguer. Hicks added that his father wore No. 31 in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who coincidentally wore No. 32 while with the Twins in 1993 and '94 after wearing No. 31 most of his career.

"I'm happy with it," Hicks said. "It's a combination of my dad liking it, and also it's the next number up. Him saying, 'Just be better than I was, actually making it to the big leagues,' there's just a lot that goes with it."

Hicks had the chance to switch to No. 31 after reliever Alex Burnett was sent to the Minors and eventually claimed by the Blue Jays in waivers. But Hicks said he likes his new number and will stick with it, especially considering it's the same number Winfield wore with the Twins.

"I kind of knew the history before Spring Training started," Hicks said. "This just fell into place, I would say."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.