The massive three-team trade with the Indians and Padres did more than send Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds. Shipping out Yasiel Puig allowed the Reds to call up slugger Aristides Aquino, who authored a .299/.356/.636 batting line with 28 home runs in 78 Triple-A games.
The 25-year-old Aquino is certainly making the most of his opportunity. He took a three-game home run streak into Saturday night's game against the Cubs (CIN 10, CHC 1), and extended it with a three-homer game. The man they call The Punisher took Kyle Hendricks deep twice and reliever Dillon Maples once. He managed to hit the three homers in three consecutive innings (2-3-4) too.
Here are Aquino's three homers:
Aquino did have two chances at a fourth home run. He drew a four-pitch walk against Alec Mills in the sixth inning and struck out on four pitches against Mills in the seventh.
. Alvarez and Aquino are the first set of rookies with a three-homer game on the same day in baseball history. Pretty cool.
Saturday's three homers give Aquino seven home runs on the season, tying Trevor Story's record for the most home runs through 10 MLB games. Here are the players with the most home runs through their first 10 career games:
- Aristides Aquino, Reds: 7
- Trevor Story, Rockies: 7
- Dino Restelli, Pirates: 6
- Nine tied with 5 (including Pete Alonso, Yordan Alvarez and Austin Riley this year)
It should be noted Aquino did play one game with the Reds last season. Saturday night is his ninth game with the team this year. Cincinnati non-tendered Aquino over the winter to get him off the 40-man roster, then re-signed him to a minor-league contract. He was a free agent and could've signed with any team.
MLB.com does not rank Aquino among Cincinnati's top 30 prospects, but prospect rankings are subjective, and his Triple-A performance is hard to ignore. Franmil Reyes, who went to Cleveland in the Bauer-Puig deal, never appeared on any top prospect lists, but his power made him a coveted player.
Aquino is the 17th player with a three-homer game this year (Nelson Cruz has two) and the second Red, joining Derek Dietrich. There have been 18 three-homer games already this season, the third most in a single-season in baseball history. There were 22 three-homer games in 2001 and 19 in 2016.