Aristides Aquino erases waivers, the Reds send him outright to Louisville
Aristides Aquino was designated for an assignment on April 30. Today he officially cleared waivers and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Triple-A Louisville outfielder outright.
Aquino, affectionately known as The Punisher, had one of the most memorable first months of his career as a person in the entire history of Major League Baseball. He hit .320/0.391/0.767 with 14 home runs, setting records for the fastest number of home runs to X to start a career along the way. But August 2019 was a long time ago.
When the calendar shifted to September, Aristides Aquino struggled. The outfielder hit 0.196/0.236/0.382 during the month, though he added five more home runs during the month.
From then on, Aquino never recovered. In his 414 plate appearances since August 2019 in parts of the following three seasons, The Punisher received very little punishment. He would only hit 0.173/0.261/0.356 in that time frame and he hit 151 times. Things were even worse in 2022 when he hit just .049 in his 43 plate appearances and hit 23 while walking just twice.
The offensive struggles for Aquino are evident. He knocks too often. Even in 2019, as he smashed the ball, he was chasing pitches out of the area at a very high rate. He’s actually reduced his swing rate out of the zone since, but it’s still very high. But while he reduced that rate, he also swung much less on the zone courts than in 2019. He doesn’t sway and miss in the zone any more than he did at any moment, he just doesn’t swing as often on strikes. Whether it’s on purpose or he’s just being fooled by pitching more frequently – it’s a problem that needs to be addressed if he wants to get back into the big leagues. For now, he’ll be returning to the International League to work on home plate things with the Louisville Bats.