Aristides Aquino was named the Florida State League Most Valuable Player for his performance during the 2016 season for the Daytona Tortugas. The outfielder hit .273/.327/.519 with 26 doubles, 12 triples and 23 home runs while also adding in an incredible 28 outfield assists.
Even with the strong performance, and plenty of tools to work with, he was still named just the 9th best prospect in the league over at Baseball America. They note, in subscriber only content, his athleticism and power standing out (among some other notes about his season). Go read the entire article for some more information if you have a subscription over there. Or you can read some of my thoughts on him from my trip to Daytona back in July, where I was left very impressed.
The Florida State League has 12 teams in it, and with only 20 spots available on the list, that works out to less than two players per organization. Going into the list it seemed like a lock that Aristides Aquino would make the Top 20. Beyond him though, there were some questions if another Cincinnati Reds prospect would make the list.
On the offensive side of things Gavin LaValley (.275/.334/.470 as a 21-year-old) and Angelo Gumbs (.298/.342/.460 as a 23-year-old) both hit well, but as players in the corners who didn’t absolutely rake it seemed like it would be tough and both fell a bit short of the list.
On the pitching side of things there were two guys who seemed like they may have a shot at cracking the list. Starting pitcher Tyler Mahle made 13 starts for Daytona and had a 2.50 ERA in 79.1 innings pitched to go along with 17 walks and 76 strikeouts. He was only in the league for half of the season but that’s enough to qualify for the list, which means he fell short.
The other pitcher who likely warranted some conversation was reliever Jimmy Herget. The right hander dominated from the closers spot after posting a 1.78 ERA in 50 games. He racked up 24 saves with 60.2 innings pitched, 22 walks and 83 strikeouts while showing strong stuff along the way.
John Manuel has completed the Florida State League chat and addressed three different Cincinnati Reds players. The chat is free to view, so be sure to check out the entire thing. The quick take aways:
- Blake Trahan probably doesn’t have the bat to start, good comp to Nick Punto.
- Tyler Mahle’s lack of a plus offering kept him from the list.
- Jimmy Herget – good stuff, but he’s a reliever and that keeps him off of the list.
What John Manuel said about each is certainly more in depth than that, so go check it out.