There were several starting pitchers who put together strong seasons in the Cincinnati Reds farm system in 2023. At the end of the day, though, none of them matched up in my eyes with what Julian Aguiar did in his time between Dayton and Chattanooga.

The Reds sent the right-handed pitcher to join the rotation with the High-A Dayton Dragons to begin the season. His first outing of the year saw him strike out nine batters in 5.0 innings while walking just one hitter and not giving up any earned runs. His next three starts were solid, but not outstanding as he allowed six runs in 12.1 innings pitched.

When May began he went on a big run with the Dragons. Over his next 10 starts he allowed just nine earned runs in 53.0 innings. During that span he gave up just 31 hits, allowed just one home run, held batters to a .165 average, walked 17, and he picked up 54 strikeouts. That took him through the middle of July and earned him a promotion up to Double-A Chattanooga.

His first start on July 15th went well as he didn’t allow an earned run in 5.0 innings and struck out five batters. The next three starts were a bit of a hiccup in his season as he allowed 12 earned runs in 12.1 innings while he walked eight batters. Things rebounded from there as he rounded out his season with seven more starts and a 3.38 ERA for the Lookouts.

In total, Julian Aguiar made 25 starts and threw 125.0 innings with a 2.95 ERA on the season between Dayton and Chattanooga. He led the farm system in innings and ERA. He had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio among pitchers with at least 80.0 innings pitched with 37 walks to go along with 138 strikeouts. Aguiar held opposing batters to a .216/.282/.326 line on the season and gave up just eight home runs. In four of the five months of the season he held batters to a .211 or lower batting average and in all five months they never topped a .676 OPS against him.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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11 Responses

  1. Optimist

    “He led the farm system in innings and ERA.” That stat line goes a long way.

    Petty next season will be interesting, as well as Lowder/Floyd/Hollan, among others.

  2. DaveCT

    A year ago, there were numerous posts about the lack of pitching in the system, post graduations of Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft. I recall discussing the Lo-A pitching, especially the number of quality arms in the piggyback system. For what it’s worth, when watching Aguiar and Acuna, their stuff seemed very similar. And if Acuna continues to add velocity as he matures, we could have quite a duo in the next wave of arrivals.

    • Greenfield Red

      Agree Dave. Except really that may not be the next wave, it may be 2 waves away when considering Petty, and all the high round college pitching that was drafted this year.

      When considering all the graduations in the past two years, it’s amazing there is anything in the system now. Cabrera, Collier, Stewart, Lin, Hector, and a dozen others barely get mentioned, yet a high percentage of them will be legitimate big leaguers in just 2 to 3 years. It’s wave after wave.

      It’s remarkable imo.

    • MBS

      @Dave, I think these guys are wave 3.

      Wave 1 was in 22 with the arrival of Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and Diaz.

      Wave 2 was in 23 with the arrival of Abbott, Williamson, Phillips, and to a lesser degree Richardson, and Spires.

      Wave 3 might not hit the beach until 25, but It looks to be Petty, Lowder, and maybe Aguiar, and Acuna.

      Hopefully we get a 2.5 wave in 24 with arm, or 2 joining the bullpen, maybe Stoudt, Roa, or someone like that.

    • DaveCT

      MBS, some of my favorite moments of the season were when Abbott was promoted to AAA and Phillips stepped up to pitch like a No. 1. Then, when Phillips was promoted, up came Aguiar. And behind Aguiar were Petty and Acuna.

  3. MBS

    I was very impressed with the way Aguiar overcame the adversity of transitioning to AA. Ability to adjust is key.

    I still like Petty for POY, but the innings thing has merit. Maybe Doug will be giving Petty the hardware in 24.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, Petty’s lack of innings just was too much. Not his fault, but Aguiar was real good with nearly twice the innings. Playing time is a big factor for me in stuff like this.

  4. Tampa Red

    Hey Doug, if you don’t mind, what’s the scouting report on Aguair look like?

  5. Mike

    Very cool, congrats, Julian (if maybe he ever reads this site lol) Seems like a guy more mature than his years. I’m guessing he made strides with his breaking pitches?