Sunday night saw Aristides Aquino go 2-4 with a solo home run for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. That home run was his 18th of the season, which tied him with Gabby Guerrero for second most homers in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Both trail Ibandel Isabel, who has 29 for the Daytona Tortugas.

For Aristides Aquino, the home run set a new Pensacola Blue Wahoos franchise record. The previous record in a single season was 17, which was held by Juan Duran (2014) and Aristides Aquino from the previous season. He’ll have three more weeks to extend the record. Of the 18 home runs hit this season by Aristides Aquino 15 of them have been hit to left of left-center. Two of them have gone to center, while one of them was hit to right. There are 20 games remaining in the regular season for him to add to it.

What’s been interesting to see over the last six weeks is the change in his plate approach. Since July began, Aristides Aquino has walked 17 times with 31 strikeouts. From the start of April through June he had just 15 walks and he struck out 70 times.

Keep an eye on Juan Martinez in Billings

19-year-old Juan Martinez began the year with the Greeneville Reds. His stay in Tennessee didn’t last very long. In nine games he hit .240/.441/.400 with more walks than strikeouts. He was then sent to Billings. In the 28 games since he arrived in the Pioneer League, Martinez has hit .302/.355/.531. Between his two stops this year he’s hitting .289/.376/.504 with nine doubles, a triple, and five home runs.

He’s taken a big step forward this season. In 2017 Juan Martinez played in 40 games with the Arizona League Reds. He hit .220/.323/.305 with 10 doubles and a triple. The infielder has improved across the board this season. The power is way up. Martinez has also raised his walk rate a little bit, and he’s cut down on his strikeout rate.

17 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Even in his much improved July/August, Aquino’s OPS is still just over .800. While solid, at age 24, he has to hit for more average if the power is going to play. Still not sure if he survives the 40 man cut down this year.

    • jim t

      Would love for him to put it together. He has talent. Lots of power and has a cannon for a arm.

  2. jim t

    It really looks like the organization is making quite a effort to impress plate discipline to the players at all levels. You can see Siri is also being coached to be more selective. Suarez really turned the corner at the ML level when he adopted some of Joey Votto’s approach. It also doesn’t hurt that the game is being played differently then when I was young. Teams know that most starters pitch to a 100 pitch limit. Making him work through longer at bats early in games gets you into the teams bull pen much quicker. In most cases that is a benefit. A lot of emphasis has shifted from power to OBP because of that. What is rare is when a guy can give you Joeys power and his OBP.

    • The Duke

      When Joey hangs up his cleats, the Reds need to try to give him a lifetime contract as a hitting instructor. Read any article where he talks about hitting (there are a few great ones on The Athletic) and it’s unreal how much he knows about hitting.

      • Jonathan

        yes, yes, yes^^ I love reading articles about Joey talking about hitting.

    • MK

      I forget the team but there was a college team n the college world series a few years ago who’s goal was for each hitter to foul off as many pitches as possible each at bat to increase pitch counts.

    • MikeinSoCal

      It seems that so much damage is done in the 6th and 7th innings. That old 3rd time through the line up syndrome. The starter is either tired or maybe the set up man isnt so good. It’s a cat and mouse game. Make the pitcher work and then occasionally jump on the first pitch fastball. Votto has such a reputation I wish he would jump on the first pitch more often.

  3. Jim

    Hope he really enjoys playing.
    Barring injury maybe he will enjoy his long career in the minors.

    • Jim's Grandma

      Are you that positive will all the people you come in contact with or just people you haven’t met? Check out some Steve Backlund or Brene Brown for the power of positive thinking :)

      • Jim's Mom

        I am positive I should’ve hit him more. But you were like noooooo, it’ll be bad long term. Never listen to your mother-in-law people.

  4. MK

    Couple stats I find troubling with the Reds. 1. Votto’s lack of power. At age 34, is this starting to be his decline in production? 2. Hamilton’s reduction in stolen base attempts and stolen bases. To me it seems like his home to first time has slowed as well. Though he is by no measure slow, with his lack of offense with the bat, if he is not running once he gets on base or putting less pressure on defenders his value becomes defense only.

    • wes

      Yeah I saw were Votto was at 9 homers last night and his RBI total is weak too. I was shocked at homer total.

      Hamilton I’m less shocked. Average talents peak and decline faster. Most players prime is 27/28 but some peak much younger especially when speed is your best attribute. He will surely have a long career, but really hope he’s not starting center for cincy next season.

  5. Mike in Ottawa

    I am gonna go out on a limb, with Votto’s leg injury he won’t surpas 12 for the year.

  6. Doc

    It seems to me that almost all aspects of Votto’s game have fallen off. Average is down, in addition to power and run production. I didn’t check stats, but his name seems to pop up more often when an error hurts. OBP is excellent, and I don’t denigrate him for that, although a singles hitter in the three hole isn’t the prototype, recognized by Riggleman in moving Votto to batting second.

    So, did he fall off a cliff from last year to this? Did he get so focused on not striking out that he can’t hit for power? Has he been hurt or suffering all year? Did he play 162 games last year at the expense of overall physical health? I suspect that only he knows.

    • GM Nep O'Tism

      Votto left a game May 15th with a back injury.

      He had 6 HR in the 41 starts before then. That’s a roughly 24 HR season pace, which is close enough to the 29-ish he normally hits that we could confidently see him reach it since he normally has better second halves.

      He has 3 HR in the 71 starts from the back injury game onward, or a 7 HR season pace.

      The knee injury sure didn’t help, but there’s not much that will possibly convince me that the lack of power this season isn’t directly related to that back injury, and he’s probably been playing through it all season because it’s the Reds, and they’d rather have a player playing injured at 50% rather than just bite the bullet, DL them for two weeks, and let them come back at 100%. We’ve seen it time and time again.