The Punisher has earned his nickname. Aristides Aquino has had it since he was 12-years-old, but he’s lived up to the billing and then some. He just picked up the National League Player of the Week Award on Monday afternoon. All he did last week was hit six home runs and a double in 24 plate appearances to go with a .500/.542/1.364 line. That’s an OPS of 1.905 for those keeping track at home. You don’t need to be Branch Rickey to understand just how insane that line is, even for a 1-week stretch.
Along the way he was setting and tying both Cincinnati Reds franchise records and Major League records. He continued to do that on Monday night in Washington. The 25-year-old outfielder homered for the eighth time on the season, a 425-foot shot to center field off of former Red Tanner Rainey on a 98-MPH fastball just above the belt. The next time that Aristides Aquino misses a mistake pitch in 2019 it will likely be the first time.
That home run in the eighth inning for Aquino set a new Major League record for most home runs in a players first 12 career games. Obviously that also sets the record for the Cincinnati Reds franchise, too. It’s absurd at this point what the Reds right fielder has done in 11 games this season (he played in 1 game in 2018 – which is why he’s got 12 career games). He’s now hitting .429/.474/1.143. His eight home runs already rank 7th on the team. He’s only one behind Nick Senzel, who has played in 81 games. He’s tied with Tucker Barnhart who has played in 74 games. Aquino is also tied with Jose Iglesias, who has played in 106 games. He’s hit more home runs than Kyle Farmer, Curt Casali, or Jose Peraza – all of whom have played in 60+ games.
Between Triple-A and the Major Leagues this season, Aristides Aquino has now played in 89 games. He’s hit 36 home runs across his 361 plate appearances between the two stops. In a 600 plate appearance pace, that’s 60 home runs. I’ve said it a few times in the last few days, but it’s worth repeating: This won’t last forever (probably), but my goodness it’s been fun. Enjoy this ride because we may not live long enough to see another one like it.