Last Thursday was an exciting night in baseball. The Tigers bested the Yankees in a fantastic Game 5, shocking the league and disappointing TV executives by knocking New York out of the playoffs with a 3-2 win.
But there was another exciting game going on that night: the Phoenix Desert Dogs routed the Peoria Javelinas, 10-4. The star of the show was Indians prospect Jesus Aguilar—as the world discovered thanks to Keith Law’s in-game tweet:
Jesus Aguilar (Cleveland) just cleared the batters’ eye in Peoria. Absurd.
Other witnesses also attested to the impressiveness of Aguilar’s shot. Manny Acta estimated that the ball had been hit 480 feet, while MLB.com’s David Heck said he hit it “so hard…he didn’t even know where it went.”
Up until this point, Aguilar’s is a name with which most Tribe fans were unfamiliar. So who is he?
After starting his career with two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, Aguilar split his time between Arizona League Rookie ball and Low-A Mahoning Valley in 2010. This year, he started out at the Single-A Lake County before being promoted to High-A Kinston. He hit .284/.359/.506 with 23 homers and 82 RBI combined at the two levels; for what it’s worth, according to Jeff Sackmann’s Minor League Equivalency calculator, his performance with the Captains would translate to hitting .247/.303/.382 with 15 homers and 56 RBI in the major leagues—not bad for a 21-year-old who’s yet to reach Double-A.
In the four games he’s played for Phoenix, Aguilar has been absolutely destroying the Arizona Fall League. The sample size is tiny and we shouldn’t draw any meaningful conclusions from it, but it’s still exciting that, in 17 PA’s he’s hitting .357/.500/1.000 (yes, he’s OPSing 1.500)—especially when the home runs are approaching 500 feet.
One home run does not a prospect make, and Aguilar is far from a blue-chip stud—he’s never appeared on an Indians Prospect Insider Top 30 list—but what he’s doing in Arizona is still awesome, and we may see him hitting moonshots into the Progressive Field bleachers in the years to come.