Yankees centerfielder Aaron Hicks rounds the bases on his solo...

Yankees centerfielder Aaron Hicks rounds the bases on his solo home run against the Athletics at Yankee Stadium on May 12. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Though Clint Frazier continues to hit in the minors, Aaron Boone clearly stated his position Wednesday.

Aaron Hicks, a frequent target of Yankees’ fans for his inconsistent performance at the plate, isn’t going anywhere.

“[He’s] a real centerfielder who can legitimately play centerfield,” said Boone, also citing Hicks’ on-base percentage (.339), even when the hits aren’t falling.

Left unsaid was that the Yankees don’t see Frazier as a true centerfielder, an opinion shared by many opposing team talent evaluators. Frazier, who is 13-for-41 (.317) with two homers and two doubles in 10 games since being sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, has played some center, and continues to play some in the minors, but defensively is not considered in the same class as Hicks. The switch-hitting Hicks, who led off Wednesday with the Astros starting lefthander Dallas Keuchel, went 1-for-3 with a walk and is slashing .232/.339/.406 with five homers and 20 RBIs.

“[Hicks] has power and in a lot of ways is still a young player developing and been highly productive,” Boone said. “As has Clint, continuing to grow and continuing to establish himself as a big part of our future. But Aaron’s a really good player for us that gets on and plays a premium defensive position. You can’t just fire anyone out in centerfield.”

n Austin in

Tyler Austin saw his first action since Greg Bird was activated Saturday, getting the start at first base against Keuchel.

“We feel like it’s a matchup that hopefully we can take advantage of,” Boone said.

Austin went 0-for-4 and is hitting .222 with eight homers and a .780 OPS. Still, with Bird back, getting Austin playing time will be a challenge.

“I think there are spots,” Boone said.

n Double dip

Boone said Luis Severino would start a game in Monday’s makeup doubleheader in Detroit. Boone said the club has not settled on the othr starter.

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