Cincinnati Reds #20 Prospect: Aristides Aquino Doug Gray December 7, 2018 12 Comments Aristides Aquino has always been a toolsy caliber player, but throughout this career he has been up-and-down with his performance. In 2016 with Daytona he had a breakout year where he upped his power and walk rate while also cutting his strikeout rate. But in 2017 with a promotion to Double-A his numbers went backwards almost across the board. After a tough 2017 season with Pensacola, the Cincinnati Reds sent Aristides Aquino back there to join the Blue Wahoos in 2018. The season didn’t get out to a great start in the first week. The outfielder went 5-21 (.238) with a double and eight strikeouts. The second week was a different story for Aquino, who went 8-21 (.381) with five doubles, two walks, and just three strikeouts. As quickly as his bat heated up, it cooled off, as he hit just .208 the next week. The month closed out on a high note, though, as he would OPS .956 in the final five games. The month was inconsistent, but solid overall. In 91 plate appearances he hit .286/.341/.417 with six walks and 24 strikeouts. The first 10 days of May got out to a very tough start for Aristides Aquino.He went 3-31 (.097) with a home run and 11 strikeouts in eight games. He picked things up from there, hitting four home runs over the next week while striking out just four times. That hot stretch didn’t carry over to the final 10 games of the month. While Aquino hit two more home runs, he hit just .243 with two walks and 17 strikeouts in those 10 games. He finished the month with a .200/.248/.442 line to go along with five walks and 32 strikeouts in 101 plate appearances. June began with a solid game. Aristides Aquino went 1-2 with a walk and a double on the 1st. In the next game he would leave early with a knee injury. The 24-year-old missed the next nine days before returning to the lineup on the 13th. It was a slow return for Aquino who hit just .176 over his first 10 games back. He did pick things up in the final three games, going 5-12 with three doubles. In 15 games played he hit .245/.302/.429 during the month with four walks and 14 strikeouts. With a 5-game hitting streak coming into the month, Aristides Aquino kept it going through the first week of July. He racked up a single in all six games played to run the streak to 11 games, but that’s where it ended. The second week didn’t go as well as he managed just four hits in 26 at-bats (.154). The slump didn’t last long, though. In the final two weeks he caught fire, going 16-52 (.308) with nine walks and just 10 strikeouts. He also added in five homers and three doubles. July went down as his best month of the year, hitting .260/.333/.470 with 11 walks and 21 strikeouts in 111 plate appearances. August got out to a strange start for Aristides Aquino. He went 4-28 (.143) with all of his hits being for extra-bases in the first eight games. He walked six times with seven strikeouts during the week. Over the next week he went off, hitting .409 with a .591 slugging percentage. His next game would come in the Cincinnati when he made a pinch hit appearance on August 19th. It would be his Major League debut, and his only appearance in the week-plus that he spent with Cincinnati. He returned to Double-A for the final seven games of the year. The time off of not seeing live pitching while in the Majors may have cost him as he went just 3-26 in his return. He would finish the final five weeks of the year with a .208/.303/.468 line with nine walks and 22 strikeouts in 89 plate appearances. For all 2018 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 | He’s got a below-average hit tool with a bit of a pull-heavy approach. Power | One area where he stands out, Aquino has plus raw power an above-average game power. Running | He’s got average speed. Defense | He’s a fringe-average defender who is capable of playing both left or right field. Arm | He’s got an above-average to plus arm, which plays well in right field. Consistency was and has been an issue for Aristides Aquino. In 2018 there were plenty of ups-and-downs as he worked through a mechanical change. Prior to 2018 he had a big leg kick, but he got rid of that in favor of a toe-tap. He also lowered his hands in his load slightly. His strikeout rate was 29.3% through the first 60 games of the year. In the final 55 games in the second half it dropped to 21.3%, and he also saw his walk rate jump up to 9.1% from 6.7%. The improved contract rate led to a jump in OPS in the second half of nearly 100 points. Still, he hit just .247 during that time – the power and on-base percentage played up, though. At this point, he will be 25-years-old before the end of April in 2019, and he’s struggled to hit for an average in Double-A. And after the season the Reds non-tendered him before re-signing him to a minor league contract. There’s still a chance that his power and defense could help him reach the Major Leagues again in the future. But right now it seems that being a useful corner outfielder as a bench player is a far more likely role than one of a future starter. Still, if he can manage to hit .250 in the future, that power will play and there’s a chance he could still carve out a career as a starting caliber corner guy. The likelihood of that just gets smaller with each year where he struggles to hit. Longest Home Run of the Year 421 Feet on September 1st. Interesting Stat on Aristides Aquino After having big splits in 2017 (.624 OPS against RHP, .833 against LHP), he flipped things in 2018. Against right handed pitchers he had a .799 OPS, but managed just a .584 OPS against lefties. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 12 Responses Shamrock December 7, 2018 So, now we’ve reached the guys who we can easily pass thru waivers unclaimed part of the list. Which tells me that prospects #21-#25 can’t be too exciting…. IndyRedsFan December 7, 2018 Just to be accurate, he didn’t pass thru waivers. He was non-tendered and immediately became a free agent. It’s entirely possible the Reds had the minor league deal agreed with him before non-tendering. Stock December 7, 2018 I am pretty sure that if any of prospects 21-24 were released today there would be many clubs calling. Releasing Aquino was quite possibly because the Reds had a resigning agreement with Aquino, as IndyFan suggested. It could also be because this ranking is probably a combination of Aquino’s tool box and Doug seeing something in the 2nd half that others ignored. Doug Gray December 7, 2018 Prospects 20+ are never exciting on the surface. It’s generally the range where cup-of-coffee guys live, or teenagers without much showing to this point. Cguy December 7, 2018 That’s all true. Even so, when he became a free agent, evidently there was little interest from other clubs. Still that 2016 season in Daytona with a .273/.327/.846 slashline, hitting 28 doubles, 12 triples, 23 HR, & having 28 outfield assists was impressive. Maybe being non-tendered lights a fire under Aquino in 2019. We can always hope. MK December 7, 2018 If “thats all true” then they had a deal worked out before another team had an opportunity. Michael Smith December 7, 2018 I do not remember effort being an issue Cguy. I think the better way to phrase it would be hopefully the pieces start to fit together. Stock December 7, 2018 CF to consider for 2019: Minnesota has at least 4 CF who could start for them in 2019 Max Kepler, Byron Buxton, Jake Cave and Zack Granite It appears the Twins are trying to compete in 2019 so it makes sense one or several of these should be traded. My guess is they plan to go into 2019 with Rosario in LF, Jake Cave in RF and one of Buxton or Kepler in CF with Granite being a 4th/5th OF. Both Buxton and Kepler are cheap this year and both have 4 more years of control. I know Buxton batted .156 last year but his BABIP was .226. Buxton is Billy Hamilton with power and the ability to bunt. 3% of Hamilton’s base hits the last two years have been as the result of bunting. 9% of Buxton’s hits have been as a result of bunting. Buxton strikes out a lot. But the ceiling is so enticing I would love for him to be a Red if/when he figures it out. His .331 OBP in AAA last year may be an indicator he has. Max Kepler is a little confusing. His career BABIP is .257. This indicates to me he is much better than his stats indicate. Bump up his BABIP to .300 and you get an OPS in the .875-.900 range. Many teams are pursuing him so he may be expensive. Cave should be pretty cheap. The Reds grabbed him in the Rule 5 draft several years ago but set him free. Maybe they should grab him back. His .363 BABIP point to disappointment in 2019 so I would be wary of Cave. Zack Granite intrigues me though. His K% is excellent. His BB% is excellent. In 2017 he showed some power (.140 ISO). He had a shoulder injury in 2018 but this along with the crowded situation in Minnesota makes him a target. I would pursue Buxton or Granite. I like Kepler but the Reds may have to overpay. I think 2018 was Cave’s career year. victor vollhardt December 7, 2018 This past summer the LA Times did an article on MLB prospects lists from all sources. In the article Ned Colletti (Dodgers Cubs etc) said that no way could there 30 “top” prospects for each club. That would make 900(30MLB clubs) total good ball players to go around and there was just not much talent. He said on balance maybe 15 would be a more realistic number and even then only a small portion would have any kind of impact to the big league clubs. He was then asked why the number 30 was used—-tongue in cheek he said…”the 15 have to have somebody to play toss with”. The Duke December 7, 2018 30 I think is used because so many of the “top” prospects flame out and a not insignificant portion of guys who were ever top 10-15 in their system make the show. The majority still come from the top, but it’s more about CYA in terms of analysis. “Oh yeah, I had him ranked 22nd, he was on the radar, I knew there was ceiling there, blah blah blah….” Stock December 7, 2018 I think most of the 15 – 25 slots should be held by younger players with potential to make it but are far from the show. If a player is 25 and hasn’t had more than a cup of coffee in the show (Mella, Aquino) he should not be in the top 25. Mella will be 26 and at his peak this year. If the best Mella doesn’t project to start the year in Cincinnati his future WAR is minimal in my mind. Same with Aquino. Aquino may be a #5 OF some day. But I don’t think so. I have Rylan Thomas at prospect 26. I think he has a much better chance to have a career WAR > 2 than Mella or Aquino. He is further away so there is a chance he never makes it to AA. But there is also a chance he has a career war of 10+. Debbie Santana is an even better example than Thomas. He is 17. I read Fangraphs write-up on him. Obviously they didn’t see him at the end of the year. They claimed he strikes out too much. But look at the monthly K% for the 17 year old. In June his K% was terrible at 36%. But in July he reduced it to 23% and by August it was 14%. you can argue that this is small sample size. I counter that it is a player young for the league growing up. Hard to convince me that the chances of his career WAR being >10 is better than Aquino’s being >2. So Santana is in my top 20 and Aquino is outside my top 25. Pokey Reese's Red Hot Bat December 10, 2018 They obviously won’t all be there but if it takes say 6 years on average for a prospect to reach the majors that’s then only 5 a year. Even then it’s probably not going to be 5 rookies on the 25 man roster at a time but 1 or 2 being rotated and then supplemented at September call-ups. (Obviously only a few of those actually make much impact at Major League level and most of these are of the cup of coffee variety) I reckon if you look back at Doug’s historical rankings probably around 75% of his make the majors – Doug maybe this is an off-season article for you?