We’ve already looked at what to expect from Cleveland’s top prospect Francisco Lindor in the 2012 MLB Futures Game, so with the game coming up tomorrow, it’s time to take a look at the other Tribe participant in the event: Jesus Aguilar.
The Futures Game has been an All-Star Break tradition since 1999 that pits the best and brightest prospects against each other in a United States vs. the World format. This game is usually just a showcase event, to put the stars of tomorrow on a nationwide stage. So will Lindor and Aguilar make a splash like Jason Kipnis‘ homer last year? Or will it be more like Drew Pomeranz giving up a homer in the same game?
To some, Aguilar’s may be a new name, but it’s one that Cleveland fans should get to know. He may be the future at first base after slashling .284/.359/.506 with 23 home runs between Lake County and Kinston last year. Now in his second season at High-A, Aguilar is showing that his breakout 2011 was no fluke as he’s even improved his numbers and is currently hitting .312/.390/.531.
Aguilar is your archetypal boom-or-bust first baseman, as he strikes out a lot and hits for a lot of power. After striking out in 27 percent of his at-bats in 2011 and 25 percent of the time this year, it’s very possible Aguilar goes 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against the advanced pitching. It’s also possible that he could really show off his power and blast one out of the park.
As a first baseman and a subpar defender, he obviously won’t draw oohs and aahs with his glove. That means his limited plate appearances are his only chance to make a name for himself. A strong showing in Kansas City could earn him some attention from national scouts, and he could find himself listed as a Top 10 prospect in Cleveland’s system on future lists.
Aguilar has been a name on the rise for the past year, so he has a lot to gain from participating in this game. Best case scenario is that he hits a big blast over the wall that gets scouts talking, but the advanced pitching could expose the holes in his swing and make him look silly. Either way, his invite to the game shows that he’s one to keep an eye on in the future.