Aristides Aquino put himself in the record book on Saturday night, and early in his run the Cincinnati Reds have discovered a budding star.
Aristides Aquino had one plate appearance for the Cincinnati Reds last year, and he struck out in it. He is outside the top-30 prospects in the Reds’ minor league system, as ranked by MLB.com, but his run at Triple-A this year (.299/.356/.636 slash-line, 28 home runs, 53 RBI) seemed to put him on the radar for a big league call-up before too long.
Last week’s trade of Yasiel Puig to the Cleveland Indians opened up that opportunity. Aquino entered Saturday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs hitting .417 with a 1.398 OPS, four home runs and 10 RBI over eight games (25 plate appearances) since being promoted. That included a three-game home run streak, and on Saturday night he took things to another level while making it four in a row
Aquino homered in his first three at-bats of the game, and in three consecutive innings for that matter, twice off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and once off reliever Dillon Maples.
Aquino became the 17th player with a three home run game this season, and the second Red (Derek Dietrich). The trio of dingers also gave him seven since his promotion, as he also tied the record set by Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story for home runs through their first 10 major league games. And that’s not the only statistical history Aquino now has to himself, or a piece of.
Aquino is not only hitting home runs at a historic rate, he’s punishing them when he hit them (hence the appropriate nickname, “The Punisher”). His home run on Thursday night left Great American Ballpark in a hurry, backed by Statcast.
At 25 years old, and with only that one big league plate appearances above Double-A entering this season, Aquino is pretty much at the age where he cannot be labeled a prospect anymore. It’s possible he’s just a bit of a late bloomer though, and the Reds seem to have discovered a player who has real future staying power.