Aristides Aquino Has Made Major League Baseball History

Reds Rookie Sets Record for Most Homers Through 12 Games

Andy Lyons

Cincinnati Reds Aristides Aquino has made Major League Baseball history for the most home runs through the first 12 career games. The 25 year old rookie slugger hit his eighth home run of the season in a game against the Washington Nationals. The home run came in the eighth inning, with Cincinnati down five runs.

Aquino is a power hitter.

“I always know that I hit the ball hard,” Aquino said Thursday through interpreter Julio Morillo. “And for the time that I’ve been here, I’ve been joking about it with my teammates telling them, ‘I’m the guy who has the most power on the team.’”

He’s not wrong. His average exit velocity is 91.3 mph and his hard hit rate off 47.8% exceeds league-average mark of 34.4%.

Since being called up, Aquino is hitting .429 with 16 RBI. More than half of his total hits have cleared the fence. All eight of Aquino’s home runs have come in his last nine games. He has gone yard seven times in his last six, which ties a Major League Baseball rookie record.

Donnie Ecker saw his potential.

Just last winter, the Reds dropped Aquino from the 40-man roster and let him become a free agent. The Reds invited Aquino to spring training, and that’s where he first met assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker.

“He looks like a Vladimir Guerrero when you watch him,” Ecker said. “I remember Ollie and I looking at him and just being amazed what that potential could look like. When I signed my contract here, even when I started to talk to the Reds, he was right at the top of my list. I could not wait to meet him. I always wanted to get my hands on him.”

“One of the first things I talked to him about was how special I thought he could be,” Ecker said. “I think he’s a franchise-changing player. From there, it’s about showing him what the 98% do and if he was going to crack his own code, he’d have to be an outlier.”

We’ve never seen anything like it.

“A lot of us say we’ve never seen anything like it and that would explain it. It’s never happened before,” Reds manager David Bell said. “The great thing is with the success, just the way he’s handling it, just his maturity level, he’s handled it with a lot of poise. We believe in him. We believe he’s going to keep going. We’re going to need him, too. It’s been fun to watch for everyone. It’s exciting when a young player from your own system comes up like that and is able to contribute.”

It’s just the beginning, but we’re already excited.

While only time will tell if August is a true taste of The Punisher’s career, it’s been amazing to watch the last two weeks unfold, and we are cheering for him.

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