I keep saying that eventually this is going to slow down for Aristides Aquino, but maybe I’m wrong. On Friday night the Cincinnati Reds right fielder homered in the 6th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were being blown out, 12-1 at the time. Josh VanMeter had doubled earlier in the inning and was on third base. After getting ahead in the count 1-0, Aquino took an Adam Wainwright cutter at 86 MPH on the lower outside corner of the plate and destroyed it. It came in at 86 and it left at 104, and it went 396-feet into the left field seats.

That was the 10th home run of the year for Aristides Aquino. He’s played in 15 games this season. It was his 16th game of his entire career. That sets yet another record for the 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic. He was the fastest player to reach 8 home runs for a career. He was the fastest player to reach 9 home runs for his career. And now he’s the fastest player to reach 10 home runs for his career.

The Punisher is taking no prisoners. If you make a mistake, he’s going to turn it into a souvenir. And he’s been doing that all year long. If we look at the time between Triple-A and Major League Baseball, Aristides Aquino has played in 93 games and had 378 plate appearances. In that stretch he’s now hit 38 home runs. In a 600 plate appearance season, that would be good for a 60 home run pace. He’s been otherworldly when it comes to his power output this year and Major Leagues or not, he isn’t slowing down yet.

Joel Kuhnel makes his Major League debut

Sometimes dreams do come true. And for Joel Kuhnel he joined a rather small group of less than 20,000 people in the history of the world to be referred to as a Major League player when he took the mound on Friday night for the Cincinnati Reds. The 24-year-old was drafted in the 11th round by the Reds back in 2016. It took a few seasons, but he worked his way through the system. He had dominated Double-A and Triple-A this year and was called up on Thursday.

Friday night saw him make his debut. When he was called upon to take the mound in the 7th inning it was likely a situation where the nerves were overwhelming. But he also had to stare down future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina. Welcome to the Majors, right? It took five pitches, but he blew a 97 MPH fastball by him to record his first strikeout of his career. Kuhnel would give up a home run to Kolten Wong on the next pitch, but he worked a scoreless inning the rest of the way. And he even got a chance to hit in the bottom of the inning, making contact and grounding out to second base. It was only his 5th plate appearance as a professional – and all have come this season.

9 Responses

  1. Greenfield Red

    I don’t know how long this will last, or how long the world will care that he is the fastest to 8, 9, and now 10 home runs, but think about the fact that he has done power things in baseball not done by Ruth, Bonds, Mays, Mantle, Griffey, Aaron… any of them. If he never hits another home run, it’s remarkable.

    • Colorado Red

      I would be happy if he ends up doing his AAA numbers.
      298 ba
      30 – 35 HRs a season.
      and good defense.

    • Doug Gray

      Not that this stretch isn’t impressive, but all of those guys had over a hundred home runs in the Majors by the time they were the same age that Aquino is. They all started their careers much earlier.

      Still, it’s a great story, a great run, and I’m hoping he just figured out how to be 1998 Sammy Sosa.

      • Oldtimer

        https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mccorfr01.shtml Reds had 27 yo rookie in late 1930s. He went on to a really good career as a Red.

        He was Mom’s favorite player growing up. She had a baseball with his signature on it (along with other Reds from that era). Grandpa took his three daughters to Reds games on Ladies Day. They got in free. He sat in bleachers for 50 cents.

  2. Matt McWax

    What is great is that by getting off to a hot start, he is getting to play every day and see a lot of pitchers, now righties too, and some tough ones. That’s pretty much what you want to see with a losing team, your high ceiling guys getting chances. Hopefully, Siri will come around next year and be in a similar position to use his natural ability. The scenario is similar although Siri last excelled at LOW A (and winter ball). He’s getting his %$* kicked by upper level pitching so it might be a longshot but maybe some similar tweak will fix him.