The minor league season is complete for every team on the farm with the lone exception of the Billings Mustangs (who will play for the Pioneer League Championship beginning on Wednesday in a best-of-three series). As I looked back at the end of the year stats one of the big things that stood out was just how many extra-base hits that Aristides Aquino had compared to the rest of the organization. He led the system in both triples and home runs, both by a wide margin, and he also had the fifth most doubles. Oh, and he did that while playing in the toughest league to hit for power in the entire minor leagues.
Now that the season is over I’ve taken it upon myself, as I do every year, to download all of the play-by-play data and dive into it, Scrooge McDuck style. The first individual player that I looked at this year was Aristides Aquino, because, well, come on.
The overall batting profile
Aquino is a right handed hitter and he’s got some pull tendencies in his game, but they aren’t overwhelming. When it comes to purely spreading the ball around the outfield, he went to left field 22% of the time, center field 15.4% of the time and right field 15.7% of the time. When the ball didn’t make it to the outfield ht was certainly pulling things a bit more. He pulled the ball to third or shortstop 28.5% of the time, while it only went to first or second 13.3% of the time. That’s how many hitters are – balls up are easier to elevate and hit the other way, so the “spray” to the outfield is usually quite a bit more even than on balls on the ground.
Where’s the power?
Just about every hitter on the planet has more power to their pull side than going to the opposite field and that holds true to Aristides Aquino. When he pulled the ball he hit .699 and slugged 1.470, good for an isolated power of .771. That’s quite impressive and his .771 isolated power to the pull side would have ranked 8th in the system last year (I haven’t completed any other players chart yet). He had 15 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs to left field.
When he went to center field things were even more impressive. He hit .508 and slugged 1.119, good for an isolated power of .610. Compared to players from last season that would have ranked second (only two players were even over the .500 mark in 2015 among Reds minor leaguers). Aquino had five doubles, five triples and seven home runs hit to center field.
When going to the opposite field the Dominican Republic native hit .407 and slugged .729. His .322 isolated power to the opposite field would have ranked 14th in the system (68 players) last season. It was the only part of the field where he saw his isolated power decline from 2015. He had six doubles, five triples and a home run to right field during the season.
When we factor in just how much power he hit for and the league that he did it in, it’s even more impressive.