Aristides Aquino was a name unknown by almost everyone in the sports world a couple of weeks ago. Even most reds fans likely had little to no knowledge of the long-time minor league slugger. After 7 years in the minors, he was a minor league free agent at the end of last year, and seemed probable to be in another organization come the 2019 season. However, the 25-year-old right fielder ended up back with the Louisville Bats, and he proceeded to mash the ball in AAA this season, hitting .299 with a .356 OBP and 28 homers.
After getting the call to the big leagues on August 1st and promptly went 0 -6 in his first six at-bats at the big league level (he had one at-bat in 2018 in which he struck out). Since then he has been the best hitter in baseball. He’s been an astonishing 14-25 in his last 25 at-bats, bumping his average up to .452 with 7 home runs and 14 RBIs. His latest act was a three homerun night at Great American Ballpark against Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs Saturday night.
Aquino tied Trevor Story for the most homeruns by a player in his first ten career games with 7. These homeruns are no fluke, either. He has been smoking the baseball. He has tied fifth for the hardest hit homerun of the season (118.3 MPH) which went 445 feet; he also launched one 452 feet Saturday night. He’s not just a slugger either. He gunned Anthony Rizzo out trying to take second on a ball in the gap, and rifled a ball 101(!)MPH trying to throw out another runner at the third this weekend. His physical talents are amazing, and so are the results so far.
If he keeps this up, Aquino could be the long-term answer in right field for the Reds after dealing Yasiel Puig in the Bauer trade.