Don’t buy those Aaron Hicks jerseys just yet, the man in charge of his future warned Friday.

“We’re about halfway home,” General Manager Terry Ryan said about the Twins’ three-way battle for the starting center field job. “So don’t forget that, just because one guy got off hotter than the others.”

That “one guy,” who came into Friday’s game batting .345, added a walk and a double against Boston, and made a spectacular diving catch in the Little Fenway “triangle” in dead center, adding to Hicks’ case to skip Class AAA and claim the job. But Ryan noted Joe Benson’s encouraging week —he had five hits in his previous seven at-bats before Friday, though was still batting .195 after a terrible start — and declared the race far from finished.

“I like the fact that we have competition going on out there,” Ryan said. “Even though [Benson] went through a tough stretch, he’s regrouped, and he’s not going to go away. Nothing wrong with that. And don’t forget [Darin] Mastroianni, either.”

Italians prove themselves

There were great moments and awful ones, but for the Twins’ pair of honorary Italians, the best part of the World Baseball Classic was proving they belonged.