We’ve seen Aristides Aquino put his name all over the Major League, and by default of that, Cincinnati Reds record books for the home runs he’s hit in 2019. He’s needed the fewest number of games to ever hit 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 home runs. He’s the only player to ever hit 13 home runs in his first 100 career plate appearances.
To be blunt, he’s killing the baseball at a rate at which baseball has never seen a rookie do it before. And he was doing that in the minor leagues this season, too. On top of the 13 home runs in the Major Leagues with the Cincinnati Reds this season, The Punisher also hit 28 home runs for the Triple-A Louisville Bats. He did that while missing nearly a month with a shoulder injury, too. That gives the outfielder 41 home runs on the season with a month to play.
As I watched him hit another 400+ foot home run in Miami last night I began thinking about all of the homers he’s hit this year. And how he’s hit 40+ homers this year between his two stops. That took me down memory lane to 2001. Adam Dunn was a 21-year-old star prospect entering that season, but by the time he was called up later in the season he was arguably the top prospect in all of baseball. Between Double-A and Triple-A he hit an absurd .334/.444/.671 with 22 doubles and 32 home runs in just 94 games. The Reds called him up on July 20th that year. He played in 66 games with Cincinnati that year and hit another 18 doubles and 19 more home runs. That gave Dunn 51 home runs on the year between the minors and majors.
Can Aristides Aquino catch 2001 Adam Dunn’s 51 home run mark? It’s not going to be easy. Dunn had an advantage in playing time that season. He played in 160 games between his stops that year. With the earlier starts to the regular season now, and time missed on the injured list, the most games that Aristides Aquino will be able to play in this season is 134. And that’s if he plays in every game and doesn’t get a day off the rest of the season.
With 30 games left, the Reds right fielder needs 10 home runs to tie Dunn’s mark of 51 and 11 to pass it. That’s a lot to ask of anyone. But, Aristides Aquino also has 13 home runs in 26 games played in the Major Leagues this season. He’s already shown that he’s capable of doing it.
Chasing down Adam Dunn is going to be fun to follow. But that’s not the only thing that Aristides Aquino could be chasing down. As far as I have been able to track there are only three seasons where a player under contract with the Reds hit 50 home runs. Hank Sauer hit 50 for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in 1947. He was the lone player on the list for a long time. Then George Foster joined him in 1977 with 52 while winning the MVP award. Adam Dunn then joined them with 51 between Double-A, Triple-A, and the Major Leagues in 2001. While what Foster did was entirely in the Major Leagues and thus makes it more impressive than Dunn, Sauer, or Aquino’s accomplishments, it’s still a fun story to have. There’s a chance that Aristides Aquino could finish this season with more home runs in a season than any other Red in history.
What happened to a shoulder injury sapping power?
Not all shoulder injuries are created equally. Usually it’s the ones that require surgery that end/limit careers. Once you get in there and start having to remove stuff, it’s a big issue.
Ranking prospects: Media vs reality.
In a click bait presigning ranking world of prospects Aquino is nearly a nobody. He was a bigger deal 2-3 seasons ago vs today.
In a livetime setting where performance, closeness to majors, and ceiling go into the equation- not only is Aquino the reds #1 prospect today but who in reds recent history can compare to him ? Meseraco ?? Bruce ?? Senzel ?? Maybe but I say Aquino is higher than all of them too! Aquino has put up a better stretch in majors than senzel did at anytime in his whole minor league career !!
To say Greene or Lodolo or India are ranked higher than him can only be done by skewing reality w perception of pre signing rankings and desire to get folks to click on your article. Aquino doesn’t have 40+ homer potential- he has the track record.
Who are u more excited about moving forward- senzel or Aquino ??
Update the ranking Doug before it’s too late ! Be a pioneer.
I have a very strong feeling that every team in baseball would trade more to acquire Nick Senzel than Aristides Aquino.
Nothing wrong with that. I’m not changing my rankings because when they were made, that’s what I felt they were. Aquino would be higher today than he was then – but I still wouldn’t rank him higher than Greene or Lodolo.
As a traditionalist I like to see a roster full of guys like winker votto senzel where they have a high average and obp yet are not gonna hit 30 homers. But it didn’t work this year vs the top 5 teams in homers are all 1st in their division. It’s a home run league today and that makes Aquino way more valuable than senzel.
Reds should find one of those teams who value senzel more and trade him to them for a lights out closer.
Rankings don’t mean a thing. They are just a way to cut through all of the clutter of the minor leagues. The articles we read, and argue over are not what Dick Williams uses to decide who the future of his organization.
As long as Aquino keeps mashing, it doesn’t matter if he was ranked as the 100th Reds prospect.
+1000, I don’t believe JVM was on anyone’s list: and, of all the new Reds position players we’ve seen this year at MLB, he may end up being the best all around if they ever just put him in a spot and leave him there.
According to Baseball-Reference, Hank Sauer hit 50 HR in 1947 for the Syracuse Chiefs, who had a AAA classification for the Reds at the time.
Thanks Joel, I add it to the list!
He just hit another one!!
Doug you mention over on RLN that Aquino swings and misses more often that most batters in the majors.
Are you attributing his success to randomness, luck, or a hot streak?
Do you think he will eventually return to normalcy? What should we expect the “normal” to be for Aquino? What would you project a 2020 full season of Aquino to look like? .250 average/ .290 OBP/ 30 Homers and 300 ks?
Maybe he is more locked in because it is a bigger stage? Plus it is easier to see the ball in the big leagues some have said. Just a thought
He def is locked in. I think for the rest of this season he is going to continue to mash. Its going to drop off some but not alot. What I really want to see is him come in next year and continue it! I’m most worried that he’s gonna drop off alot between this year and next because of the time off
Me too. Seems like a big mystery what he would really do over an entire season. He’s making things exciting right now but it appears that no matter what he does next year it will be a disappointment to his August 2019. I do hope that no matter what they stick him in Right field for 162 games. Even if he turns out to be Duval it’s better than previous results and he fills a hole in right that was left by Jay Bruce. He’s adequate in the very least.