Cincinnati Reds Hidden Gems Part 2: AAA All-Star

Originally, the Reds Hidden Treasure blog was only supposed to be a one time post about the Louisville Bats’ Brian O’Grady. But in a shocking turn of events, the AAA affiliate of Cincinnati has an unprecedented SECOND elite prospect that has not yet been called up to the majors. Arisitides Aquino is having a phenomenal season in Louisville. With 20 home runs, 39 RBI’s and a .293 batting average; he is proving to be one of the best players in the Reds farm system. And his performance landed him a spot in the AAA All-Star game.

As you can see in the tweet from the Bats above, Aquino is no stranger to all-star games. He has played in the Advanced-A, AA, and AAA all-star games. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time until he is playing in the MLB. It is awesome to finally be excited for prospects in the Reds’ system instead of just a couple players on the top team. The wait for another Reds playoff appearance is almost over and now they are building up the young talent to keep them in contention for years to come.

Aquino went 0-2 in his two plate appearances in the 9-3 loss to the Pacific Coast League All-Stars. Also, if anyone can tell me why minor league baseball leagues are named the same way batteries are, that would be great. Follow me on twitter @soft7wic and our main account @soft7sports for everything Reds.

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The Reds Hidden Treasure Playing for Their AAA Louisville Bats

The Cincinnati Reds have been truly blessed with solid prospects rising through their farm system. Nick Senzel, after having a 15+ game hitting streak in the minors, was called up and made an immediate impact. He’s solidified his place in the outfield and batting order and doesn’t look to be making a move back to Louisville any time soon. Joseph VanMeter, after hitting about one home run every game, has been called to Cincinnati now for the second time after showing his versatility on offense and defense.

But there is one other prospect that the Reds are well aware of, but won’t call up because, to put it simply, they can’t. And that prospect is Brian O’Grady of the Louisville Bats.

Take a look at the batting leaders for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2019 season:

Now look at Brian O’Grady’s batting stats as of 7/7/19:
Batting avg: .291
Home runs: 22
RBI: 55
OBP: .361
Hits: 86
All while playing 10 less games than the Reds.

Yes, he is playing against lesser competition, but shouldn’t having better stats than the guys in the majors at least warrant a chance to prove his worth? Apparently not, and here is a couple reasons why.

Brian O’Grady plays first base. That has been and always will be Joey Votto’s position until the day he leaves Great American Ballpark for good. After all, he is the pride and joy of Cincinnati with a normal hair color. Nobody, and I mean nobody, dare mess with what he has built.

But why can’t they just stick him in the outfield? Bad idea. The Reds have two good things going for them right now: their uniforms and their defense. The sleeveless uni’s from the I-words game were incredible, and the Reds have allowed the least amount of runs in the the National League and second least in the entire MLB. The outfield of Senzel, Puig, Winker, and Dietrich have been a huge part of that. It would not be smart to mess with that when the Reds have pulled to 4.5 games back in the NL Central.

How about playing O’Grady at the DH? Again, no. The only time the Reds can use a DH is when they are playing on the road against a team from the American League. I am sure you all already knew that, but it is worth pointing out since that only happens one other time for the rest of the season against Seattle. Yes, 75 games remaining and there is no room for an AL opponent. I guess fitting in a little interleague play is difficult when you have to play the teams in your own division roughly 700 times a season.

Unless something drastic happens, do not expect Brian O’Grady to be called up to Cincinnati this season. If it was going to happen, it would have happened by now. So until then, sit back and enjoy the hidden gem of the Louisville Bats and the fact that Louisville Slugger Field actually has some sluggers again.

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The Reds Need to Call Up Brian O’Grady from the Bats and They Know It

The Cincinnati Reds farm system has been showing all kinds of promise this season. With injuries stacking up and the team underperforming, they have needed to turn to their AAA affiliate Louisville Bats on more that one occasion. Notable call ups so far have been Nick Senzel and Josh VanMeter. With Reds’ record remaining stagnant and as disappointing as usual, it’s time to take another chance on another hopeful prospect.

But who, oh who, should the Reds give the nod to? Is there a player on the Bats that has caught the eye of the parent organization? Maybe one they have recently tweeted a glowing review of and seem to be pretty stoked on. Yeah, it’s Brian O’Grady.

Now, O’Grady plays first base which happens to be Joey Votto’s position. I am not in anyway suggesting O’Grady should replace the Reds’ best player, but keep in mind that they have several interleague series coming up in the month of June. The hitting leader of the Bats could be the perfect spark in the DH spot to get the Reds up to .500.

For more Reds and Bats talk, follow us @soft7sports and me @soft7wic.