Cincinnati Reds #18 Prospect: Aristides Aquino Doug Gray December 6, 2017 14 Comments The reigning Reds minor league hitter of the year, Aristides Aquino, struggled to start the 2017 season. In the first nine games of the season in Double-A he went 5-33 (.152) with three walks and eight strikeouts. The outfielder caught fire briefly from the 17th through the 20th with Pensacola, hitting .375 over four games with a triple and a home run. From that point forward though, in the final 10 games, he went 3-37 with 18 strikeouts. In 94 April plate appearances Aquino would hit .163/.223/.256 with five walks and 31 strikeouts. The struggles from April carried into May. In the first seven games Aristides Aquino went 2-21 with 12 more strikeouts. On May 11th he would homer. The next day he would triple and homer. He didn’t look back from that point forward in the month of May. Aquino hit .297/.358/.608 over the final 19 games of the month. That stretch led to a much better second month where he would post a .250/.314/.531 line. The power started showing up, but his strikeout rate was still a very high 27%. June began with a hit in seven consecutive games for Aristides Aquino. The month went south quickly after that. Over the final 16 games of the month he would go hitless in half of them. He would go 9-55 (.164) over that stretch. Aquino did walk six times with 14 strikeouts in that stretch, but the hits simply weren’t falling in. In 88 total plate appearances he would hit .213/.284/.300 with eight walks and 21 strikeouts. Aristides Aquino started out July with a pair of multi-hit games, going 4-8 with two doubles, a home run and a walk. He was unable to keep that going, though. Over the next 15 games he managed just six hits and struck out 21 times in 50 plate appearances. From the 21st through the 29th he could hit well, going 9-30 (.300) with five extra-base hits. Over the last two games of the month Aquino would go hitless, leaving him with a .209/.273/.396 line with 34 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances. That late month slump carried into August. Over the first six games of the month Aristides Aquino had a hit in just one of them. He made that game count, going 3-4 with a double and a home run, but that was all he had in 28 plate appearances. The next week was a big improvement with the Blue Wahoos as he would hit .344 with three doubles and four home runs. The inconsistencies continued, though. From the 19th through the 30th he would go 5-31 (.161) without any extra-base hits. He would finish out the regular season on a high note, going 6-17 with two doubles and a home run. Over the final five weeks of the season he hit .236/.305/.462 in 118 plate appearances. For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason). Aristides Aquino Spray Chart Aristides Aquino Scouting Report Hitting | Perhaps the biggest weakness in the game for Aristides Aquino. His hit tool is a little below-average, but it plays down. Pitch recognition is a problem and leads to both lots of strikeouts and plenty of weak contact when he’s fooled but gets enough of the ball to make contact. Power | This is the biggest tool for Aquino. It’s above-average today and there’s plus potential for his power in the future. Running | He’s an average speed guy. Arm | He shows an above-average to plus arm in right field. Defense | He’s an average defender. The speed and range are fine for right field, but he doesn’t always get good reads on the ball. It was a very tough adjustment to Double-A for Aristides Aquino. More advanced pitchers were able to get him to chase pitches out of the zone. There were spurts where he showed his upside at the plate, particularly with the power, but he struck out 29% of the time he stepped to the plate – which is just far too often. In 2016 he made big strides in his plate approach and pitch recognition from the previous year. He’s going to need to make similar strides again if he’s going to find success in the upper minor leagues at the plate. The power and the defense will play, but he’s going to have to make more contact, and better contact moving forward if he’s going to be in the conversation for a starting role. 14 Responses The Duke December 6, 2017 He has to cut that K rate at least 5%, and at the same time increase the walk rate a point or two as well. At age 24 just a few weeks into the season, I don’t know if those kind of changes are coming at this point. That’s why I have him a little further down than you, I’m just not sold that the plate discipline will ever be there. Aquino is actually older than Peraza. Reply Wes December 6, 2017 Everybody is older than peraza….. Reply Stock December 6, 2017 I agree Duke. The K% and the drop in ISO combined with his age knocked him out of my top 25. Reminds me of Yorman but older. Reply Wes December 6, 2017 Aquino put together the best two months in all of baseball in 2016. Prior to that and after that he’s been a below average player. Never as good as you are at your best or bad as you are at your worst. I think he’s done though. Reply Michael B. Green December 6, 2017 I think Aquino, perhaps more than anyone in the system, has the most to prove in 2018. Plenty of players have repeated a level and moved on to fine careers. This all comes down to plate discipline. I really like his power and he fits the true RF model with a cannon arm. I’m sure he’ll get plenty of Spring Training PA’s to measure his growth. He could take a path similar to Nelson Cruz. Reply Hoyce December 6, 2017 I would have liked the Reds to try and get maitan. And since they didn’t have the international $ to do it. Send someone like Aquino to LA Angels. For them to sign maitan and trade him for Aquino. Reply Doug Gray December 6, 2017 You’d have to trade someone far better prospect value wise to get a Maitan. Reply Hoyce December 6, 2017 Ya. I agree on a 1 to 1 trade. But essentially my proposal would just be trading for signing money. And I was just using Aquino as an example. Wes December 6, 2017 That would be unprecedented. Reds would have had to worked that out w angels and Maitan prior to him signing which not sure if that’s in the rules. But if they sign and trade Maitan same day without him knowing is bad business and you don’t want that reputation. How bout scooter and/or Peralta for him? Either trade fills need for angels. Doug Gray December 6, 2017 Can’t imagine that’s enough. Both, maybe, but I still doubt it. RedsinWashSt December 6, 2017 Pretty much every level that Aquino has been at he’s taken 2 years to adjust. I think it is much too early to give up on him. This is an important year for him however. I think he has the most power and best arm that the reds have in the minors . I hope he turns it around like he’s done everywhere else. Reply Hoyce December 6, 2017 Wes- no different than trading for international bonus money and signing him themselves. Just skirts around the dumb $300k rule. With the Reds circumstance- I think it’s necessary to think outside the box more than inside. Another idea is lock someone like Senzel up for 10-12 years now ala what the Rays do. Reply Andrew December 6, 2017 I know when a team signs a MLB FA they can’t trade that player until, I think, May 30th. I would suspect there is a similar rule in place for international FAs. MK December 6, 2017 Only levels he has spent more than one season is Dominican (a lot to do with age) and Rookie leagues. Spent one year at A, one at A+ and one so far one at AA. 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