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.
This article was first sent out to those who support the site over on Patreon. Early access is one of the perks that you could get be joining up as a Patron and supporting the work done here at RedsMinorLeagues.com.
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).