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.