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Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino is already hitting for power

Jun 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Cincinnati Reds left fielder Aristides Aquino (44) rounds the bases on a three run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO – Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino said he could tell his hand would be fine when he doubled for his first hit of his rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats.

Two months earlier, Aquino had suffered a hamate fracture in his left hand on a swing in the top of the ninth inning on April 13. After surgery, Aquino went on the 60-day injured list and rehabbed at the Reds spring training complex in Arizona.

Aquino returned to the Reds active roster on Sunday, and he said his power is nearly completely back.

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“Right now, I’m very close to 100%,” Aquino said. “My hand feels good. I’ve been swinging without any problems.”

Jun 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Cincinnati Reds left fielder Aristides Aquino (44) celebrates a three run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

During batting practice, Aquino has crushed home runs like he did before the injury. In limited at-bats in games, that power has already translated.

On Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Aquino hit a 399-foot home run to left field that was 104.7 mph off the bat. Aquino has made contact five times since his return, and three of those balls had an exit velocity over 100 mph.

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Aquino’s play in center field has been nearly as important as the power he has shown so far. With Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos established as the starting corner outfielders, Aquino will have his most consistent opportunity to start in center field against left-handed pitchers.

Jun 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Cincinnati Reds left fielder Aristides Aquino (44) catches a fly ball against the Milwaukee Brewers in the second inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Before he came off the IL, Aquino had only made one career start in center field. In his first start there this season on Monday, Aquino made two catches on the run and played the position well.

“I’ve always been fast,” Aquino said. “I’ve been working hard, and I know I can play there. If they give me the opportunity, I want to show that I can play there.”


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