It was speculated on last night when Aristides Aquino was a very late scratch from the Triple-A lineup that he was getting the call. Then later that evening Hector Gomez of Z101 in the Dominican Republic tweeted out that Aquino was indeed getting called up by Cincinnati. He will fill out the Reds 25-man roster after their trade deadline moves left them with an open spot.

You can see the numbers in his tweet – Aristides Aquino’s raking. The baseball in Triple-A is flying, and home runs are happening at unprecedented paces. But there’s what the league is doing, then there’s what Aquino is doing. He missed nearly a month earlier this year with a shoulder injury. He’s currently second in the International League with 28 home runs. The baseball is certainly helping – it’s helping everyone. But he’s doing more damage with it than most.

 

The 2019 season has been one of new hitting mechanics for Aristides Aquino, who has opened up his stance. It’s helped him quite a bit. His walk rate isn’t as high as you would like it to be, but his pitch recognition has improved some. You can still get him out on a good breaking ball just out of the zone, but he has tightened up what he’ll swing at. The strikeout rate is higher than you would like it – he’s striking out 25.1% of the time he’s stepping to the plate in Triple-A. With his power, you can easily live with that strikeout rate. But if it stays there in the Majors, the power’s going to need to come with it.

In the field, Aristides Aquino is a clear right fielder. At least normally. In a world where Jesse Winker is a center fielder a lot of things can be tossed aside. But Aquino, while probably a tad faster than Winker, doesn’t have the speed to play center. What he does have is a big time arm that plays very well in right field. He’s got seven assists as a right fielder this year, and one more as a center fielder (5 games). With the arm being well known, he doesn’t get tested quite as much as he used to – like in 2016 when he racked up 28 assists. With the glove, he’s solid – but he doesn’t stand out for his abilities as a right fielder in terms of glove or range.

It will be interesting to see how he fits into the lineup. Will he be a true back up outfielder? Will the outfield see time, mostly, from Jesse Winker, Phillip Ervin, Derek Dietrich, and Josh VanMeter before Aristides Aquino gets in there? Or will the nice mix of lefties and righties in that group lead to more opportunities for Aquino to get some at-bats? David Bell certainly can mix things up with this group.

Josh VanMeter to play every day

I wrote about this on RedsMinorLeagues.com earlier, so you can get the full story there. But last night Reds General Manager Nick Krall noted that the plan was to get Josh VanMeter into the lineup every day moving forward. As the resident Josh VanMeter shill, this makes all of the sense in the world to me. After posting a 1.097 OPS in Triple-A this season, he’s now hitting .312/.418/.532 for the Reds. And he’s doing so while showing a nice array of skillsets at the plate. Oh, and he can play four or five different positions, too.

22 Responses

  1. Don

    Looking forward to seeing Aquino play at MLB.

    Very happy to see the plan is to plan JVM every day.

    Hopefully DD stays as the veteran late inning pinch hitter whom sometimes has to play the field as they are out of other players or giving Votto a late inning rest at 1st base in a blowout win.

    Seems like almost a new season starting with the position player changes for the last 2 months of 2019.

    It should be an exciting time to be a Reds fan.

  2. daytonnati

    The Reds finally get “their” Ben Zobrist!

  3. Don

    Steve,
    This is what I can find for 2020 reds salary commitments.

    Committed salaries for 2020 (in mil $)
    Barnhart = 3.9
    Votto = 25
    Suarez = 9.5
    Gray = 9.1
    R Iglesias = 9

    Arbitration
    Peraza
    Bauer
    DD
    Disco
    Lorenzen
    Peralta
    Stepheson

    Free Agent
    J Iglesias
    Wood
    Hernandez

    Team Option
    Hughes @ 3 mil

    The other players are in team control years for other than Casili they are all < 600K each.
    Casali
    Farmer
    JVM
    Senzel
    Winker
    Ervin
    Aquino
    Mahle
    Castillo
    Sims
    Garrett

    So the team could turn a lot of spots again based on next 8 weeks of play if they wanted.

    • Gonzo Reds

      I certainly think we should offer J Iglesias a 2 year deal including the second year option and a longer deal to Wood if he shows he can stay healthy and produce over the next month.

      I know everyone is looking for RP but I think Hernandez and Hughes are both cut loose in favor of all the young arms we have that aren’t going to be starting with our premium rotation.

      Glad the team is mostly still intact (and competitive) minus the three players we had replacements lined up already since I’ll be flying up to Cincy for the Aug 17th/18th throwback uni games against the hated Cards. And my fav all time player Bench’s bobblehead night to boot!

  4. CFD3000

    Great news about JVM, but he needs to be at 2B almost every day, with perhaps an occasional game at third to give Suarez a rest. There’s no reason to play him in the outfield and take at bats away from Senzel, Winker, Ervin and Aquino. Those four can cover the three outfield slots just fine, and they all need at bats. For me these lock down everything but C and SS. The catching situation will evolve based on health, but I will say if Barnhart’s new batting approach gets him back to his baseball card numbers that would be a nice little upgrade. At short I’d prefer Jose Iglesias until a more productive option arrives by trader development or free agency, but I fear Peraza will still play plenty. If that’s the worst problem for the offense that’s it so bad. Starting pitching looks very strong with Bauer and Wood joining Gray, Castillo and DeSclafani, and Mahle and Reed available after they get healthy again. So it’s down to the bullpen. If they can perform I absolutely see a playoff run in 2019. If not, that should be the primary focus for 2020 and I like the makeup,of the rest of the team.

    On an unrelated note I’m excited that these new guys are arriving in Atlanta for four games. Perfect timing for a second look at the (new) Reds. Bring on the Braves. Go Reds!

    • CFD3000

      Man spell check is tough:
      *by trade or development or free agency
      *that’s not so bad
      Sorry for the unnecessary typo distractions!

  5. Tom

    I think we know the 2020 Reds got better. There’s a very real chance the 2019 Reds got better.

    Our biggest issues right now are:

    – Bullpen is a bit shaken but we added starting pitching

    – Too many decent outfielders

    – Extra starting pitchers who might need to pitch out of the bullpen

    – Should we sign a veteran SS with a slick glove, great attitude, and a knack for timely hits?

    – Should Votto choke up or choke down on the bat.

    This team can pick up 3 1/2 wins a month going forward. The FO did its job.

  6. Nate

    All I can say is BOO!

    Not really, I wish him the best. I was hoping to see him play in Columbus tonight one last time. I would like to see Winker get a little more playing time against lefties but everyone needs some playing time to show what they can do.

  7. IndyRedsFan

    Peraza starting at second tonight. So much for JVM starting every day.
    Looks like they’ll be platooning in left, right and at second. I hope I’m wrong on that…..I really don’t want to see Dietrick getting more at bats than Ervin and Aquino combined.

  8. Chris Holbert

    The Reds need to decide who the utility guy is going to be, it really should be Farmer. JVMR needs to be at 2B everyday, and Farmer(1) and Peraza(2) should be the “days off” guys, depending on the position need. Farmer should be the first choice in the infield , once the Cs are healthy, except possibly for SS. I am not exactly sure how even DD fits into the current and future plans, and he does not seem to be able to hit anything right now, although he does hit LH.

    • Chris Holbert

      The more I think about it Farmer’s catching ability may allow even more flexibility, with the bench and extra RPs.

  9. Doc

    At worst, yes. At best, DD takes his .210 to the bench and Aquino, Winker and Ervin get most of the starts.

  10. Matt WI

    That open stance to start the AB is wild! I wonder if it’s disconcerting to pitchers at first too?

  11. Roger Garrett

    Exactly and as you said its not rocket science,I hoped we had said good bye to the silly stuff but seems like we have one or two left.Not quite there yet but its getting better.

  12. M

    Reds lineup for tonight posted on reds.com. No JVM. AQUINO in rf. ???

  13. CFD3000

    Man I lucked out. I get to see the Reds two weekends a year – once in Cincy for the annual pilgrimage, and once whenever the Reds come to Atlanta. Now I get to see the new look Reds with Wood and Bauer on the hill, and JVM, Ervin and Aquino plus Senzel at the plate. Except… Peraza? That’s a no. Hopefully it’s just a lefty thing but still… Oh well, this is still going to be fun!

  14. Michael W.

    Small bright side is that we have a bench tonight of Winker, JVM, DD, & Kyle Farmer. Finally a season where our best pinch hitter late in a ballgame is not Michael Lorenzen. I guess we can’t expect the FO & coaching staff to change everything overnight. Baby steps for sure, but progressing in the right direction.

  15. SteveLV

    This year, echoing many: Play JVM, AA, a Winker, and Peraza at short at least 75% of the time.

    Next year: Make shortstop a stength, and add one other all-star caliber player with either the money or assets we have available.

    Trading Trammell for Bauer isn’t what I would have done, but now that they have, going for it next year is the only thing that makes sense. They have the starting staff to do that, they now need 4 potential all-stars among the 8 position players. Suarez and Senzel are 2, but probably need 2 more.

  16. wutinthehail

    I hope I am wrong, I hope I am VERY wrong but I’m not buying Aquino. In AAA he walked very little struck out a lot. He is not going to get many good pitches to hit (except a few mistake pitches) and he doesn’t have the ability to know the strike zone so he is going to be swinging at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone. He better make good on a high percentage of the mistakes the opposing pitcher makes or he is not going to be very successful – I don’t care how far he can hit a ball.

    • Nate

      Watched Crook last night, he’s not ready for a MLB caliber breaking ball. Did have 2 really nice plays in LF battling the sun.

  17. Seadog

    Peraza is in the “youth” movement. Look at his age//. So, he has more time in the bigs-than most at this age. I like tonight’s lineup. A+ to “Freddie B.” He is the Coach tonight. Even though we know Bell made the calls