I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes in the midst of trying to construct the optimal fantasy roster, I get caught up in looking for what I call “two dimensional players,” that is, players who can hit or get on base decently plus either a reasonable amount of stolen bases or home runs. But sometimes, depending on your league size and your draft position, your choice among those type of players may be limited. But all is not lost! There are still options for players that can make an impact and give you a boost, whether you’re in an AVG league or one that uses OBP.
One of those players is Reds OF prospect Aristides Aquino. When I first ranked him in my pre-season Top 50 Reds prospects list, I was low on him. He had just finished AA ball, and outside of home runs, he was striking out a lot and generally not hitting well. Nevertheless he was moved up to AAA Louisville this year, and so far is thriving, in the midst of a 19 game hitting streak and making me look like a fool for having him so far down the list. As of this writing, in 161 plate appearances, Aquino is hitting .336/.391/.664 with 13 home runs. He’s sporting a .436 wOBA (weighted on-base average) and a 162 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus). In this video one of the things I picked up on right away was just how quiet and simple his hitting mechanics are. Nothing overly complicated. Part of the reason I believe his power is legitimate is because his swing has a nice upper-cut to it that lofts the ball into the air with ease, AND he generates this power without any sort of leg-kick…it’s all from the rotation he gets from his hip.
On the other hand, his walk rate is rather pedestrian, averaging 6-7% or so over the past several seasons, and there are still some plate discipline issues, as his strikeout percentage remains around the mid-20s. Additionally, his BABIP is a career high .374 which to me seems a little unsustainable. Another issue is playing time. The outfield situation for the Reds is crowded. Jesse Winker is struggling but they have Josh VanMeter, Jose Peraza, and Phil Ervin who can slot in there. Senzel isn’t going anywhere, obviously. Puig will be gone after the end of this season, so you will most likely have to wait until next season to pick up Aquino (though you could get him this year and stash him if you’re in a dynasty league). If he continues building what he’s doing this season so far, I believe the Reds will call him up and slot him into the outfield. (Editor note: Aquino did make his MLB debut last year and had one AB in one game) But then again, the Reds also called up VanMeter only to use him off the bench, so you never know with Dick Williams and company. But the point is the same: Aquino is an outfielder with keeping a close eye on for next year’s fantasy baseball season!
2️⃣1️⃣ game hitting streak. 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/d6NOJrEsgK
— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) June 19, 2019