Aristides Aquino was designated for assignment on April 30th. Today he officially cleared waivers and the Cincinnati Reds outrighted the outfielder to Triple-A Louisville.

Aquino, affectionately known as The Punisher, had one of the more memorable first months of a career as anyone in all of Major League Baseball history. He hit .320/.391/.767 with 14 home runs – setting records for the fastest to X-number of home runs to begin a career along the way. But August of 2019 was a long time ago.

When the calendar flipped over to September, Aristides Aquino struggled. The outfielder hit .196/.236/.382 during the month, though he did add five more home runs during the month.

From that point forward Aquino never recovered. In his 414 plate appearances that followed August of 2019 over parts of the next three seasons The Punisher did very little punishing. He would hit just .173/.261/.356 in that time frame and he struck out 151 times. Things were even worse in 2022 as he hit just .049 in his 43 plate appearances and struck out 23 times while walking just twice.

The offensive struggles for Aquino are obvious. He strikes out entirely too often. Even in 2019 when he was crushing the ball he chased pitches out of the zone at a very high rate. He’s actually cut down on his outside the zone swing rate since, but it’s still very high. But while he’s cut that rate down, he’s also swung at pitches in the zone far less than he did in 2019, too. He’s not swinging and missing in the zone any more than he has at any point, he’s just not swinging at strikes nearly as often. Whether that’s by design or whether he’s simply being fooled by pitches more frequently – it’s a problem that needs to be fixed if he’s going to make his way back to the big leagues. For now he will head back to the International League to work on things at the plate with the Louisville Bats.

12 Responses

  1. JB

    But I was told that teams will quickly pick him up. Obviously other teams no he is AAA at best. Reds dumpster dive their own dumpster dives.

    • Mark Moore

      I’d have bet one of the other 29 would have picked him up, but your point is well taken. Maybe this gets through to him, maybe it doesn’t. For now, he is in our own “dumpster” and subject to diving.

      • Optimist

        Agreed – surprised someone did not take a flier on work with a different batting coach. Still, no options left may have dissuaded others from the project.

  2. Randy

    Maybe he’ll be able to find his swing and become a better hitter. Only time will tell.

  3. TR

    Hopefully AA can return to his natural open stance in Lville and we’ll see what happens.

  4. burtgummer01

    Hopefully we won’t see him in Cincinnati again

  5. Votto4life

    Aquino really should test the waters in Japan.

    • Chas

      I agree. He’d be a monster in Japan.

  6. Melvin

    Him tanking and hitting rock bottom is what kept him from being picked up. Too bad for him. He’d be better off with another team.

  7. Redsvol

    Where he should have been all along. I can’t believe we can’t find a waiver claim outfielder who can’t produce more than this. A replacement level outfielder has to be available somewhere. Haven’t some opted out of minor league contracts by now since it’s may?

  8. Maloney63

    I was pretty sure nobody would want him. But, hey, maybe he’ll get better coaching down in AAA!!

  9. realist

    This is so pathetic. I told everyone who would listen no one would pick him up and I am usually always wrong. He had an extended look from the Reds and was among the worst to ever swing the bat apart from that outlier month. The fact that he is back with the reds means we will get to witness him batting in a reds uniform once again when there should be absolutely no reason for it. SELL THE TEAM BOB