Following a few years of mediocrity, New York Yankees third base prospect Angel Aguilar is finally starting to grow in Charleston.Ever since third base prospect Angel Aguilar was named the 22nd-best prospect in the New York Yankees farm system by Baseball America after the 2014 season (.311/.373/.536), things just haven’t been going his way.
In the next season, Aguilar was promoted from the Gulf Coast League to Single-A Charleston, where he watched his OPS drop from .909 to .613 and strikeout rate climb from 18.5 percent to 29.6 percent.
In 2016, it was more of the same. He slashed .221/.266/.373 with a .639 OPS and while his home run total rose to 13, his strikeout rate remained at 29.1 percent between Charleston and Staten Island.
Here in 2017, however, things seem to be turning around for the kid the Yankees signed as an international free agent from Venezuela on Jan. 17, 2012 at age 17.
Through 25 games in Single-A Charleston, Aguilar is 31-for-94 (.330) and has already recorded eight extra-base hits and 17 RBIs while mainly manning the third base position for the Riverdogs. The 21-year-old has also reached base safely in 20 of his last 22 games while owning a .396/.450/.528 slash line at home this season.
The clutch gene is also finding its way into Aguilar’s bloodstream. When batting with runners in scoring position and two outs, the right-handed hitter is 10-for-29 (.347) with two doubles and 10 RBIs. Here’s an example of that situational hitting in a game on April 10 against Jeff Burke of the Augusta GreenJackets.
He’s also making strides defensively (just one error in 158.0 innings at third base) but scouts still view him as a better option at second base, where he has registered 312.2 innings at in his four-year minor league career.
There’s a ton of raw talent here. He has shown the ability to get on, hit for power, hit for average, speed (three stolen bases in 25 games this season) and has been a top-25 prospect in the organization before.
Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done, but confidence goes a long way and if Aguilar’s latest streak can build some consistency in Charleston, perhaps he can elevate his game and work his way back onto the prospect list.