The Cincinnati Reds blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners on Monday has left a gaping hole in left field. Jesse Winker, along with Eugenio Suárez, was sent to the Emerald City in exchange for left-handed prospect Brandon Williamson, right-hander Justin Dunn, outfielder Jake Fraley, and player to be named later,
It appears, for now, that Mike Moustakas will be inserted into the lineup as the Reds everyday third baseman. I assume will see Kyle Farmer spend some time at the hot corner as well. But what about left field?
While Jesse Winker was a far-cry from an elite defender, the 28-year-old held his own in left field over the past two seasons. More than that, Winker earned his first trip to the All-Star Game following a fantastic 2021 season at the plate. So, who's most likely to replace Winker in left field?
5. Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino could replace Jesse Winker in LF.
Oh boy! Is Aristides Aquino still on the team? Well, then he's got a shot, I guess. All kidding aside, nothing would please me more as a fan of the Cincinnati Reds that to see The Punisher line up in left field on Opening Day. But there's a catch.
I want to see The Punisher that launched baseballs out of Great American Ball Park at an incredible clip in August of 2019, not the version that's put up pedestrian numbers ever since. Aquino has monster power, great speed and athleticism for a player his size, and a cannon for an arm. So why is Aquino not an everyday player? Because he can't hit a break ball.
Aristides Aquino feasts on fastballs. If you miss your spot as a pitcher when facing Aquino, you might as well turn around and watch the baseball enter the 26th row in left field. But something happened to Aquino between 2019 and 2020; pitchers figured out how to approach him.
Now, the free-swinging right-handed slugger is strikeout waiting to happen. Aquino posted a 36.8% strikeout-rate in 2021 in just 204 at-bats. On the flip side, The Punisher, as a part-time player, mashed 10 round trippers and posted a .408 slugging percentage. No one on this team, and possibly the entire Reds organization has more power than Aquino, but the strikeouts do not help his cause.