The Cleveland Indians currently have a king sitting in their deck of players at the Triple-A level in Columbus; his name is Jesus Aguilar.
Aguilar is currently hitting .310 with the Clippers with 39 hits, seven home runs and 19 RBIs in all 35 games in 2014.
“I’m doing really good, I got to keep going and I’ve got to come here, play hard and put my 100 percent into the field and keep doing what I’m doing.”
Aguilar is seen as a player that could be called up to Cleveland at any moment, but he doesn’t let that distract him from what he does on the field.
“I don’t like to think about that. I don’t control those situations,” Aguilar said. “I try to come to the field every day and play hard and see what happens. They’re going to make a decision, I don’t control that, but the only thing I can control is coming to the plate and playing hard.”
Aguilar has been developing in the Indians farm system his entire professional career, which started when he signed with the Indians in November 2007. He started his first two seasons in the Indians farm system at the Dominican Summer League, where he hit .253, nine home runs, 110 hits and 91 RBIs in 435 at-bats at the Fall Rookie level.
During the 2010 season, Aguilar finally got to see playing time at the Single-A level. After spending the first half of the season in the Arizona League, Aguilar was called up to Mahoning Valley to finish out the season with the Scrappers. He finished the 2010 season with a combined batting average of .251, 59 hits, nine home runs, 39 RBIs in 61 games.
The next season, 2011, is considered as Aguilar’s breakout season. He spent the first part of his season (95 games) with the Lake County Captains where he had a .292 batting average, 19 home runs, 102 hits, a .544 slugging percentage in 349 at-bats. Aguilar had 15 games with a home run, including a 3-home-run game against the Bowling Green Hot Rods on April 23, a June 3 game with two home runs against the Clinton LumberKings and a two-home-run game on the road against the Peoria Chiefs on July 14.
Two weeks later, Aguilar made his Kinston Indians and Carolina League debut on July 28. He finished the season with Kinston where he had a .257 average, four home runs, 29 hits and 13 RBIs in 113 at-bats. He had one more multi-homer games with two home runs on the road against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on August 21.
Aguilar was one of the players who stayed at the Single-A Advanced club, now the Carolina Mudcats, during the 2012 season. He had three more multi-home run games in the Carolina League before getting called up to Akron in mid-August.
The Maracay, Venezuela-native spent this past season with the Akron Aeros and continued to build on his game. Aguilar finished the 2013 season with a .274 batting average, 137 hits, 16 home runs and 105 RBIs. He fared very well against right-handed pitchers with a .284 batting average, 99 hits and 13 home runs with Akron in 2013.
Now in 2014, Aguilar has made a big impact for the Clippers, which has got him to be seen as a potential starter in the near future for the Indians.
Despite starting off really well, Aguilar has a lot in mind to help win games for the Clippers, developing into the best player he can be and getting a spot on the roster in Cleveland.
“I want to know what kind of player I am, make hard contact,” Aguilar said. “I’m coming off a really good Winter League for me, and try to bring that good spirit into hitting and try [get better] here.”
Aguilar spent the offseason playing for the Caracas Lions in Venezuela and hit behind MLB-veteran Bobby Abreu, who has played 12 games for the New York Mets and 15 games for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, this year after not playing at all in 2013.
Aguilar spent a lot of time learning from the two-time All Star in Venezuela during the winter season with the Lions.
“I tried to ask him what he did like to run like 10 or 15 years in the majors. That helped me a lot,” Aguilar said. “He tried to teach me how he works and how to do those things, try to do my best, and try to help the team get wins.”
The Clippers finish its current home series with the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington-AAA) on Monday before they hit the road for a four-game series at Rochester (Minnesota-AAA) and another four-game series in Syracuse before returning home on May 22.
Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer