Late-season surge guarantees Aristides Aquino's spot on the Reds offseason roster is secure

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino. / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Folks, The Punisher is back! Aristides Aquino, perhaps after hearing the critique from former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Eric Davis, has changed his approach at the plate. You can't argue with the results.

Aquino went deep again last night in the Reds 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Aquino was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. This is the version of Aquino that the Cincinnati front office has been dreaming about since August of 2019.

Aquino's rookie campaign in 2019 saw The Punisher make his mark and fans throughout Reds Country, and the sport as a whole, assumed that the young outfielder would ascend to the upper echelon of the major leagues and be regarded as one of the best power bats in the game. But hat never materialized.

Aristides Aquino is a lock to be part of the Reds offseason roster.

In fact, Aquino was designated for assignment earlier this season. Without any minor league options remaining and struggling to the tune of .049/.093/.122, the Reds made the difficult decision to DFA Aquino. However, he was outrighted to Triple-A and then returned to the team in mid-May. Aquino was then injured in mid-June and missed nearly two months of action.

The Punisher returned in early-August, but the swings and misses were still part of his repertoire. From August 2nd through the 30th, Aquino hit .167/.226/.231 with a strikeout-rate of 36.9%.

But Aquino has noticeably changed his approach at the plate recently, and the results cannot be denied. In the last 10 games, Aquino is slashing .394/.444/.848 and has three doubles and four home runs. More impressive, perhaps, is Aquino's 22.2% strikeout-rate.

Aristides Aquino is arguably the best pure athlete on the team. The right fielder has a cannon for an arm above-average speed with a long stride, and more power than probably 90-percent of the players in Major League Baseball. It's those tools that have kept The Punisher in Cincinnati for so long.

If these changes that Aquino is undertaking continue to show results, the Cincinnati Reds will have no choice but to keep him on the offseason roster. Aquino will be eligible for arbitration this winter, but it's unlikely his pay raise will be much over the league minimum in 2023.

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