First base has long been a weak point for the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe has suffered through some more than questionable characters over the last few years. Casey Kotchman, Matt LaPorta, and Andy Marte bring up some horrifying memories. Long has the farm system been filled with sub-par first base talent like Beau Mills, Lars Anderson, Russ Canzler, and Michael Aubrey. It seems an endless string of poor decisions has plagued the Indians with less than mediocrity at a high offensive position.
All is not lost however, as a new first base candidate has emerged from the ranks. Jesus Aguilar is just 22 years old starting the season at first base for the Akron Aeros. He has a solid bat, power, and an ever improving glove. This season he ranks at the Indians number nine prospect according to Baseball America. He proves to be the best the Tribe has to offer at first base in their minor league system.
Aguilar has played very well for the Aeros thus far. Through 21 games he holds a nice batting line of .280/.355/.390. His batting average is at a good level for a power hitting first baseman in Double-A. His on-base percentage is very good, showing plate discipline to go along with his power. With all this talk of power, it seems odd that he holds a slugging percentage of .390. This number is well below his .443 career average, and even further below his last season’s total of .461.
On this week’s Wahoo Watch Podcast, Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian and Mike Brandyberry discuss Indians’ signing and Spring Training invitations to Ben Francisco and Ryan Raburn, along with the invitations issued to five of the Tribe’s minor league players. Then …
By Ronnie Tellalian
Fantastic pitching and an offensive burst spelled doom for the Trenton Thunder. Akron displayed dominance at home all post season, winning the final three games of the Division Series, and the first two at home in the Championship, as they breezed through game two, winning in convincing fashion 7-5.
Aeros’ right handed pitcher Danny Salazar (5-2, 2.36) took the mound tonight for the home team. The 22-year old Salazar made his lone post season start against the Bowie Baysox on September 7, going 5.1 innings and giving up only two runs with a whopping eight strikeouts in route to an unfortunate no decision.
Looking to stifle the Aeros’ offense was Trenton Thunder left hander Shaeffer Hall (9-10, 3.67). Hall, a former 23rd round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, finished 3rd in the Eastern League in innings pitched with 164.1. He came in to relieve David Aardsma in game two of the ELDS at Reading, and threw 5.2 shutout innings, allowing only one hit.
By Steve Eby
The All-Star Futures Game made its debut in 1999 when the Midsummer Classic was held in Boston. Most of the who’s-who in baseball today played for either the World Team or the USA Team before the start of their Major League career. Big names like Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Andrew McCutcheon, Jose Reyes, Troy Tulowitzki, Justin Verlander, Joey Votto and David Wright all represented their organizations and became All-Stars for their big league club at some point during their careers.
The Indians have had success in the game also, sending players like Fausto Carmona (Roberto Hernandez), Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Kipnis, Victor Martinez, C.C. Sabathia, Carlos Santana and Grady Sizemore to play in the game that is played the Sunday prior to the All-Star Game. In fact, in 2003, Sizemore stood out among the rest as the MVP of the game held at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Hoping to add his name to the list of big time sluggers and Tribe All-Stars is Indians prospect Jesus Aguilar, who played in the game Sunday night in Kansas City.
Aguilar, a six-foot, three-inch 250 pound monster of a man, is the first baseman for the Indians Advanced Class-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats. The honor of being selected to the Futures Game is an honor that is well deserved for the slugger, as Aguilar is currently batting .305 with 11 homeruns, 45 RBIs and a .908 OPS for the Mudcats. Aguilar was excited to take part in the All-Star festivities along with Lake County Captains prospect Francisco Lindor. “I’m really excited because it’s my first Future’s Game,” Aguilar said. “I’ve tried to work hard.”
By Christian Petrila
The 2012 Futures Game was a showcase of the brightest young talent the Major Leagues have to offer. In this case, the USA used a nine-run sixth to dominate the World Team to win, 17-5.
Aguilar was the starting first baseman for the World Team. His first at bat came in the top of the second against Pittsburgh’s flame throwing pitcher Gerrit Cole. After falling behind 1-2 and seeing some pitches between 98 and 100 MPH, Aguilar drew a seven-pitch walk. He came around to score when Cubs prospect Jae-Hoon Ha hit a two-out home run to give the World a 3-0 lead.