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 Louisville Bats Derby Uniforms Are INSANE

The Kentucky Derby is the biggest event in Louisville every year. Aside from our tap water, it is our most prized possession. Stars from all over the world gather in their floppy hats and thousand dollar outfits to watch a 2-minute horse race.

Louisville takes the event beyond seriously. We kick off festivities around 2-3 weeks before the race with nonstop events all through downtown. There are firework shows, fighter plane air shows, steamboat races, and even the AAA Baseball team, Louisville Bats, are getting involved with this amazing Kentucky Derby Mint Julep themed jersey.

Louisville Bats

Absolute fire. The number 45 on the back is for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, but I like to think it is for Louisville’s golden boy, Donovan Mitchell.

The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. They are best known for costing up to $1,000 while being incredibly simple to make. Just 3 parts Woodford Reserve Bourbon to 1 part simple syrup and a couple sprigs of mint. They are so expensive because of the limited edition keepsake glass they come in and all of the money goes to charity.