Aristides Aquino keeps the Reds front office dreaming about what could be

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino (44) flexes.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino (44) flexes. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a tumultuous season for Aristides Aquino. But the Cincinnati Reds outfielder had a good day at the plate on Sunday, hitting his first ever grand slam with a home run during the sixth inning to blow the game wide open.

The Punisher made the Opening Day roster out of spring training, was designated for assignment at the end of April, outrighted to Triple-A, recalled the big leagues before the team's trip to Toronto, placed on the IL for nearly two months, and returned to the active roster in mid-August.

Aquino is well-regarded for his power at the plate, cannon for an arm in right field, and a lot of strikeouts. Aquino is hitting .185/225/.306 with five home runs and 22 RBIs in 173 at-bats this season.

Aristides Aquino keeps the Reds front office dreaming about what could be.

For the 2022 season, Aristides Aquino has maintained a strikeout-rate of nearly 41.0% while only drawing a walk 5.0% of the time. That is an unsustainable statistic.

But, what Aquino had shown prior to his demotion and after returning to the big leagues last month shows a little improvement. Before Aquino's injury, his strikeout-rate was 45.6%. Since August 2nd, Aquino has gone down on strikes 36.3% of his plate appearances.

If Aquino continues to trend in a similar direction, and can get that strikeout-rate below 30.0% over the final few weeks of the 2022 season, expect the Reds front office to keep The Punisher throughout the offseason.

Yes, there are a lot of talented prospects who'll need to be added to the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft, but Aristides Aquino continues to show flashes of that player he was back in August of 2019.

Aquino is out of minor league options, meaning if the Cincinnati Reds wanted to remove him from the 40-man roster, the front office would run the risk of The Punisher being claimed off waivers. With the defense and speed that Aquino provides, you have to imagine another team would take a flier on him with the hopes of correcting his swing.

According to Fielding Bible, Aristides Aquino is second in the league with 19 defensive runs saved, trailing only Tommy Edman who has 20 DRS. Should the Reds hang on to Aquino? That's debatable? Will they? The answer is, most likely, yes.

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