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.