The Cincinnati Reds have designated outfielder Aristides Aquino for assignment. The team needed to create a spot on the 40-man roster for pitcher Connor Overton, who is making the start against the Colorado Rockies this evening.
Aristides Aquino earned the nickname The Punisher with his first month in the big leagues. In August of 2019 he played in 29 games and hit 14 home runs. During the month he hit .320/.391/.767 with 17 extra-base hits. Pitchers simply didn’t seem to have much of an answer for him as he set rookie records for the number of home runs in the first number of whatever games he was playing in.
But things changed quickly when the calendar flipped to September. Aquino went into a slump, playing in 27 games and hitting just .196/.236/.382. He hit five more home runs, giving him 19 on the year in just two months played, but his OPS was nearly cut in half.
From there we never saw the Aristides Aquino of August 2019 again. In the 414 plate appearances that Aquino had outside of August 2019 with Cincinnati he hit just .173/.261/.356 while striking out 151 times. He hit .170 in 2020, followed that up with a .190 average in 2021, and this month he was hitting .049 with just two walks and 23 strikeouts in 43 plate appearances.
The upside is certainly there for Aquino – we all saw it in 2019. But the downside is there, too, and we’ve seen it ever since. A good defender who can cover you in all three spots in the outfield if truly needed (he’s stretched in center, but if you need someone there he can fill in for a day) – there’s a chance someone takes a shot on him to see what happens. Perhaps reuniting with Donnie Ecker, who worked with Aquino in 2019 on his swing, who is now with the Texas Rangers, could be something that would be worth a look-see for the Rangers.