After being selected in the 12th round of the 2021 draft out of Cypress College, the Reds sent Julian Aguiar to Arizona where he joined the complex league ACL Reds for five games. None of those games saw him start, throwing 8.2 innings out of the bullpen before the season came to an end.

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When the 2022 season began Cincinnati sent the right-handed pitcher to Daytona to join the Single-A Tortugas where he would work in the rotation, but see some time out of the bullpen as a part of the piggyback system the organization put in place. His first game of the season went about as well as imaginable. Taking on St. Lucie, Aguiar threw 5.0 perfect innings with seven strikeouts. That was followed with the a 4-inning, shutout performance against Palm Beach out of the bullpen that also included seven strikeouts without a walk.

The third game of the season saw him struggle with his control a bit as he walked three batters in 4.0 innings and allowed three runs. Aguiar rebounded over the next two weeks, throwing 12.2 innings in three games with 15 strikeouts and just four earned runs allowed. But from May 15th through June 5th he struggled, giving up 21 hits – including six home runs – and walked six batters in 11.1 innings over four games while allowing 11 earned runs.

Once he got past his birthday on June 5th, things turned around. From the 10th of June through the end of August he appeared in 13 games and posted a 2.28 ERA while walking just 10 batters, striking out 60, giving up just five home runs, and throwing 51.1 innings for Daytona. When the calendar flipped to September the Reds promoted Aguiar to High-A Dayton. His first start with the Dragons saw him allow six earned runs in 3.0 innings. He would rebound the next time out by throwing 5.0 innings with six strikeouts and just one unearned run going against him as he closed out his season on a high note.

For all 2022 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Julian Aguiar Scouting Report

Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: L/R

Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 180 lbs | Acquired: 12th Round, 2021 Draft

Born: June 5, 2001

Fastball | The pitcher works in the 92-95 MPH range and touched 97 during the year.

Change Up | A pitch that worked in the low 80’s during the season and flashes above-average.

Slider | Working in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. It flashes above-average.

2022 was the second year in a row that saw Julian Aguiar pick up velocity on his fastball and in 2022 he topped out at 97 MPH. The uptick in velocity is good, but hitters still found success against the pitch last year. They didn’t, however, find much success against his secondary offerings. The data from his road games in Daytona provides us with precise data and batters managed to hit just .147 and .167 against his slider and change up in 93 combined at-bats that came to an end with those pitches.

There’s still projection left for Aguiar. There may still be some velocity to be found in the future, and a little more consistency with his secondary offerings could leave him with three above-average offerings. While there were a few hiccups during the season with regards to his control, he showed good control throughout the year.

The 2022 season was a good one for the right-hander, but while it was out of his control – the Reds limited him and everyone else that was pitching in Daytona on their pitch counts. Aguiar never threw more than 75 pitches in a game and he only threw 5.0 innings (and never more than that) in just six of his appearances during the season. He’s going to have to show that not only can he handle a larger workload in a single game, but also handle a larger workload in a season after throwing just under 100 innings last season. With that also comes the question of can his stuff hold up as he adds a larger workload.

If he’s unable to maintain the stuff through longer outings or over the course of a 140+ inning season, a move to the bullpen could be a viable one. He could cover multiple innings and his stuff may play up there, which could be quite good given that he’s already showing two above-average pitches to go along with a fastball that’s working in the mid-90’s. Given what he showed in 2022, though, don’t expect a transition to the bullpen until it’s clear that starting isn’t in the fold.


Interesting Stat on Julian Aguiar

While we only have Hawkeye data for Aguiar in his road games while pitching for Daytona there’s some fun stuff to look at. In 75 at-bats that ended with a slider being thrown, opponents hit just .147 (11 for 75) while slugging just .200 (9 singles, 1 double, 1 home run).

18 Responses

  1. Matt

    I am really looking forward to Dayton’s rotation and seeing how Petty, Aguiar, Rivera, Cooper, and Hajjar if they’re let go a little bit longer in the games.

    • MBS

      I’m pretty excited for the pitching across the farm this year. AAA isn’t loaded but they have 2 guys who could become MLB regulars, AA, and A+ should be stacked.

      • Stock

        I am even interested to see how our 2022 draft class of pitchers fares in Daytona. With the late MLB draft you don’t really have the opportunity to see the pitchers drafted. Excited to see Hubbart, Huggins, Maxwell, Brutti and many others fair in 2023.

      • Matt

        Totally agree. Even AAA won’t be awful (hopefully), with Williamson hopefully rebounding, Stoudt continuing development. Overton, Dunn could be in the minors.

  2. DaveCT

    Aguiar and Rivera might turn out to be some astute draft choices. Same for Benschoter as a NDFA in 2020.

  3. Stock

    I agree with you DaveCT. I think any player drafted after round 5 (in fact you can argue after round 3) who makes it to the show is huge. Graham Ashcraft was taken in the 6th round of 2019 so I would add him to your list.

    Finally I am hoping that one or two pitchers from the 2022 draft add their names to your list.

    • DaveCT

      Stock, it’s pretty easy to overlook Ashcraft as he’s progressed so rapidly, isn’t it? I’m also optimistic about Cooper, Franco, and Parks, who each showed a fair amount of success as well. Of the 2022 class/acquisitions, I’m most interested in Hubbart as well as Acuna. I pushed back all season long on the depth of our pitching. While none as elite as Greene and Lodolo, there is quality there, just of a different sort.

      • Stock

        I felt that because of bad luck Petty’s stats were not a good indicator of his actual stuff. I look for him to be a top 100 prospect by year end 2023 and think he will be better than Lodolo but not as good as Greene. That said Lodolo surprised me in the second half and could be very good. Maybe that speaks to Johnson that Greene and Lodolo were so impressive in the second half of their rookie seasons.

      • DaveCT

        I thought Romine really helped Greene and Lodolo execute their game plans, too. Of course, DJ is behind those strategies. I’d love to see Williamson and Stoudt get under a ML staff. A bounce back by Williamson would go a long ways to stabilizing the ML staff in the near future.

      • DaveCT

        Both Petty and Philips could be exciting. Petty with that power sinker, in GABP, could rock it.

      • MBS

        Maybe that’s why they brought Romaine back. He can help Williamson, Stoudt, and others in the AAA level get better prepared to make the next step.

  4. MBS

    I was just revisiting the D-Backs OF depth chart. They have Thomas, McCarthy, Carroll (#3 overall prospect in baseball) they also, Kyle Lewis, and Gurriel as a 4 and 5 on the bench.

    They should be willing to deal Fletcher to an interested party. He’s their 13th rated prospect, and he’s already had 100 games at AAA. He could step in right out of spring training as our CF. Not only would it give us a viable player at a weak position, but Fletcher would also be insurance if Siani’s bat never progresses to MLB quality.

    24: Fraley, Fletcher, Converted SS, Siani, and Fairchild.

    • Stock

      I would trade McGarry for Fletcher. He is not a great fit for Arizona though.

      Maybe Benschoter, Roa and Ivan Johnson for Fletcher.

    • Stock

      I would be even more all in on a Carroll trade: Noelvi Marte, CES and Javi Rivera. Maybe Senzel, Marte and Rivera.

      • MBS

        Carroll is probably untouchable, I also like McCarthy’s #’s a lot, but he’d be very pricey.

        I like this proposal of yours for Fletcher, “Benschoter, Roa and Ivan Johnson”. That’s what I had in mind when I was looking at Fletcher. It’s not a flashy move, but it would be a big help for the Reds.

      • Stock

        I agree that Carroll would be hard to get. I would love to add him to our OF this year though.

        I also agree that Fletcher would be a great add, not that he is a great prospect but because as you pointed out he would be a good fit for the Reds and is not a good fit for the Diamondbacks.

        Because of this it was a great proposal you made.

    • patrick

      Siani is way better than Fletcher as a CF. He does not have the speed or defense that Siani has. Bats are not that different at this point but Siani still have more room to grow with his hitting since he is two years younger.

      Fletcher is a true 4-5th OFer type

      • MBS

        “Fletcher would also be insurance if Siani’s bat never progresses to MLB quality.”

        I never claimed one is better than the other, just that Fletcher is ready to hit in MLB now “already had 100 games at AAA”.

        The way I figured it was, either could become a starting CF, and both of them have a floor of a 4th OF. It would stink it both are 4th OF’s, but unless we are willing to make bigger trades, or sign expensive FA’s moves like these will be our best bet.

        Also a bit from MLB pipeline. “Fletcher is a polished hitter who puts together quality at-bats. He makes up for his average speed with tremendous instincts. Fletcher consistently gets good jumps and some club officials believe he’s one of the best defenders in the entire organization.”