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Aquino Needs to Really Impress in Spring Training
#1
With the competition in the OF this year, Aquino really needed to come out firing on all cylinders in order to capture a starting position, or even a bench position, in the outfield.

The number of outfield slots on this team may be restricted to 5. We need to keep Barnhart, Casali, Votto, Moustakas, Galvis, Suarez, Farmer, Castillo, Gray, Bauer, Desclafani, Miley, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Garrett, Stephenson, Romano, Reed and 2 more bullpen arms (Biddle and Sims, perhaps).

That leaves 6 slots. I think they're going to want to carry a back up shortstop like Blandino or maybe Van Meter (if they think he can play SS), which would leave 5 slots for the outfield.

His competition is fierce, with Castellanos and Akiyama both locks to make the roster. That leaves Ervin, Winker and Mark Payton, their rule 5 draft selection, along with Jankowski and Schebler to compete with Aquino for the final 3 spots.

Winker is virtually a lock based on his previous success in the majors. I think there's an argument that Winker could be sent down the minors, since he has options remaining, but his OBP potential is just too strong for a team that needs OBP more than anything.

Jankowski and Schebler are likely not making the roster, cuz they're just generally pretty bad players with little upside. So the choices come down to Ervin, Payton and Aquino for two slots.

And this is where I think Aquino loses out because Ervin has no minor league options available. Meaning if he doesn't make the roster, he has to go through waivers before we can re-assign him to the minor leagues. And if Payton doesn't make the roster, he must be returned to the Athletics, as per the rules of the rule 5 draft.

Aquino, on the other hand, has 1 minor league option left.

So, in order to justify the Reds losing Payton or exposing Ervin to waivers, Aquino basically had to come out and prove that he was absolutely the August Aquino and not the September Aquino.

And he just hasn't done that.

Not even close.

He's currently batting .000/.143/.000 with 5K, 1 BB in 12 ABs.

Compared to Payton's .375/.444/.438 with 1 K, 2 BB in 4 K, 2 BB in 16 ABs
And Ervin's .500/.500/.1000 with 2 K, 0 BB in 10 ABs.

I know it's very early. There is still about 75% of the spring training season remaining. But, through the first 8 games, it's becoming more and more likely that Aquino will begin the year in AAA.
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#2
The Punisher has options and will start in AAA. Too crowded in OF.
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#3
The Fans always like the new guy. Oh WOW, I really like Winker. Forget him, I really like Senzel. Forget him, I really like Ervin. Forget him, I really like Van Meter. Forget him, I really like Aquino. Forget him, I want to see this Japanese player.

and so it goes with the Fans, which is short for fanatic.
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#4
(03-01-2020, 08:47 PM)Crazyjdawg Wrote: And he just hasn't done that.

Not even close.


He's currently batting .000/.143/.000 with 5K, 1 BB in 12 ABs.

Compared to Payton's .375/.444/.438 with 1 K, 2 BB in 4 K, 2 BB in 16 ABs
And Ervin's .500/.500/.1000 with 2 K, 0 BB in 10 ABs.

I know it's very early. There is still about 75% of the spring training season remaining. But, through the first 8 games, it's becoming more and more likely that Aquino will begin the year in AAA.

Agree

I've only watched 4 or 5 of Aquino's AB's but all of the ones I've seen have just looked bad. He swings at way to many pitches out of the zone. He's a sucker for the low and outside pitch and I don't mean just barely off the plate he swings at stuff he couldn't hit with a boat oar ! And teams know it.

I've still got hope for him but he has to learn to quit swinging at that low outside pitch. I'd say he's gonna start in minors unless he really brings it on.
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#5
(03-02-2020, 10:13 AM)bengalfan74 Wrote: Agree

I've only watched 4 or 5 of Aquino's AB's but all of the ones I've seen have just looked bad. He swings at way to many pitches out of the zone. He's a sucker for the low and outside pitch and I don't mean just barely off the plate he swings at stuff he couldn't hit with a boat oar ! And teams know it.

I've still got hope for him but he has to learn to quit swinging at that low outside pitch. I'd say he's gonna start in minors unless he really brings it on.

Yea, he looks a lot like he did in September.

What I think is happening: He changed his stance shortly before coming up to the majors. So the major league pitchers, who were already unfamiliar with him because all there is to go on is minor league scouting reports, had an additional wrinkle to consider when pitching to him.

He took advantage of their unfamiliarity, paired with an insanely hot streak to break a bunch of HR records to start a career.

Roughly a month into his career, pitchers got updated scouting on him and realized he'll swing at basically anything down and away.

So they never went anywhere else. And that's how his September happened.

And it is continuing into this year as well.

We'll see if he can recover and play better, but it's starting to look more and more like August was the illusion and September is closer to the reality.
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#6
Yeah..not feeling all that impressed about Aquino right now, but he might suddenly become a bit more selective and stop swinging at just any old bad pitch, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting. If he could figure out to not swing at everything down and away he might just get on base a few more times and force pitchers to touch the strike zone more often..  He's got the power no doubt, but the patience to wait them out just isn't there. I'd rather have a .300 hitting Payton who rarely hits one out over a guy who strikes out more often than he comes up to bat. Payton may just become a very good #2 hitter without the power.. Not every player is going to be a HR hitter. This team has plenty of power hitters, but without anyone on base before them more often than not they'll hit a 1 run HR. I'd love to have a .300+ guy on base for those guys much more than an automatic K hitter.. Call me old fashioned, but I like when my team scores more runs than the other team.
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#7
(03-07-2020, 11:24 PM)grampahol Wrote: Yeah..not feeling all that impressed about Aquino right now, but he might suddenly become a bit more selective and stop swinging at just any old bad pitch, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting. If he could figure out to not swing at everything down and away he might just get on base a few more times and force pitchers to touch the strike zone more often..  He's got the power no doubt, but the patience to wait them out just isn't there. I'd rather have a .300 hitting Payton who rarely hits one out over a guy who strikes out more often than he comes up to bat. Payton may just become a very good #2 hitter without the power.. Not every player is going to be a HR hitter. This team has plenty of power hitters, but without anyone on base before them more often than not they'll hit a 1 run HR. I'd love to have a .300+ guy on base for those guys much more than an automatic K hitter.. Call me old fashioned, but I like when my team scores more runs than the other team.

I'm with you gramps. I had high hopes for Aquino this spring I thought last September might have taught him something, but it seems thus far it didn't. He's had a couple decent stints in the minors but overall not so great. He's 25 and if he's gonna "get it" he needs to start getting it, soon.

In 26 AB's during the shortened ST he had 2 hits, 2 RBI's, for an .077 avg. with 11 strike outs. I'm not ready to give up all hope yet but somebody needs to let him know he doesn't have to swing at every pitch.
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