Aaron Hicks #31 of the Yankees looks on before a game...

Aaron Hicks #31 of the Yankees looks on before a game against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on Friday, June 24, 2022. Credit: Jim McIsaac

With Aaron Judge playing extensively in centerfield  and playing well — and, by extension, Joey Gallo getting far more time in right, where he’s much more comfortable than in left — Aaron Hicks has had to learn leftfield essentially on the fly.

Though Hicks, a natural centerfielder, initially wasn’t warm to the idea, he has adjusted and played the position reasonably well.

Friday night was just the latest example of that.

In the fourth inning, Hicks, on a dead sprint, laid out and made the catch on the dirt near the foul line on a hard-hit ball by Jose Altuve. Aaron Boone also highlighted a catch Hicks made on a slicing liner off the bat of the lefthanded-hitting Michael Brantley.

“I’m sure he doesn’t love that situation, but he’s dived into it,” Boone said. “He’s out there working, he’s out there taking live reads during batting practice, and it’s all paid off. He’s done a really nice job.”

Hicks has struggled much of the season at the plate, though the switch hitter, who missed the majority of last season after undergoing season-ending surgery on his wrist in late May, has shown signs of getting going.

After going 0-for-2 with a walk in Saturday’s 3-0 loss,  Hicks is hitting .227 with three homers and a .642 OPS, but he is 18-for-65 with nine walks in June. Those hardly are jump-off-the-page numbers — though he did hit a tying  three-run homer in the ninth inning that led to Thursday’s victory over the Astros — but considering the outfielder was hitting .200 for the season entering the month of June, there clearly has been progress.

“I think he’s playing with a fire and with an edge right now that he’s constantly out to prove himself,” Boone said. “And that’s been really good to see.

“I know going from center to left . . . a lot of times it’s easier to go from a corner to center, even though, obviously, center takes a different skill set to be able to play. But him going to left, that’s not an easy transition, and I feel like he’s continually gotten better and better.”

More Yankees headlines