HEIGHT: 6-4 WEIGHT: 190 lbs
Aristides Aquino is the latest young prospect signed out of Latin America to make some real noise in the Reds system. In that regard, he follows in the footsteps of Juan Duran, Yorman Rodriguez, Jonathan Reynoso, and others.
Unfortunately, those who preceded him down that path have yet to have any real, sustained professional success. Unfortunately, those prospects are the toughest for me to rank, as they frequently make noise in the rookie leagues and their amateur careers are largely inaccessible to me.
So, that leaves me with an annual dilemma. I don't want to leave them off the list entirely, but there just isn't enough for me to get a good feel for their abilities as prospects. What I have done in the past is what I will do here. Go the conservative route. I'll slot Aquino in at #20 on the list to acknowledge his existence and potential while waiting for a larger body of work before I draw any real conclusions or try to evaluate him.
Aristides is very, very popular in the pundit community right now, but this list, for better or worse, is all about my impressions of prospects and he's just too obscure for me to form a proper impression. So, for now, just know that there is an intriguing prospect in the system named Aristides Aquino who spent 2011 and 2012 with the Dominican Summer League Reds, 2013 with the Arizona League Reds and Billings Mustangs, and 2014 with a breakout season for the Billings Mustangs. His breakout season consisted of a .292/.342/.577/.919 with 16 homers and a 66/15 K/BB ratio in 284 ABs. The K/BB ratio is disconcerting. The power is encouraging.
Outside of that, let's just take a look at Aquino in action. Here's a look at a home run, courtesy of Manny Mota Jr. on YouTube:
And, here's a look at a triple, courtesy of GradingontheCurve on YouTube:
Given his youth and distance from the majors, there is a tremendous amount of development risk to Aquino, which means that there are countless possible career outcomes. Boom? Bust? Something in between? Time will tell. For now he checks in at #20 on the list.