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Aristides Aquino is the fastest with 12 home runs



PITTSBURGH – When Aristides "PJ" Aquino walks toward the plate, he does it so loud and confident. When the opposite pitcher reads, he takes his bat perpendicular to the ground and stares through it, as if he is a golfer reading a division of a green or an archer

PITTSBURGH – When Aristides "PJ" Aquino walks against the plate, he makes it so loud and safe. When the opposite sex reads, he takes his bat perpendicular to the ground and stares through it, as if he is a golfer reading a green refraction or an archer setting up his shot.

When Aquino swings at bat, the ball tends to go a long way and currently it tends to make history. He has broken record after record with a scorching homer this season, and he etched another one in the record books in Friday's 3-2 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

• Box score

After going a career-long four games without a homer, Aquino lifted No. 1

2 in his first stroke of the Pirates starter Mitch Keller. Although Aquino's blast flew a Statcast-projected 402 feet, the ball barely cleared the fence in the right field, giving the Red an early lead. But that puts Aquino in the books. Again.

The list so far?

• Most home runs in an MLB player's first 12, 14, 16, 17 and 22 games.

• Bound for most home runs in an MLB player's first 20 games.

• First MLB rookie and first Reds player to homer for three consecutive rounds.

Aquino is now just two homers shy of reaching the Reds franchise record of 14 home runs over a calendar month, set by Greg Vaughn and Hall by Famer Frank Robinson. He has nine games to get there.

On a team of extinguishers like Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez Aquino holds down No. 4 in the order and drives the reds almost every night.

"We ask him a lot, and he's really stepped up," said Cincinatti Chief David Bell. "Really, it just says a lot about who he is as a person and where he has come to as a hitter."

Bell saw another building block being built on site in Aquino's strategy with Homer on Friday. The 25-year-old was sitting on a hard-hitting curve ball from Keller, then put into a slider – an offer that generated 10 whiff and five strikeouts – that nodded the bottom of the strike zone.

"It's impressive when you can do it from a good pitcher in that situation when they pitch," Bell said. "It only says so much about where he is right now as a hitter." [19659003] The expected regression for a red-haired rookie just refuses to come for Aquino, who has an average of .338 batting and .873 slugging percentages, but he said he began to see signs of pitchers noting.

"To be honest "I'm just trying to have a good bat," Aquino said through an interpreter. "I know they're going to hit me, move around those plans [to make it] uncomfortably, but the only thing I can control is to put a good turn on the ball . "

Even opponents can be stumped by what to do next, especially when he collects a three-hit day that he did on Friday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said," We will try to find a way to beat him better when the series continues. "

The second one like Aqui no can control is his behavior: how he carries himself, how he prepares for games and the level of effort he shows. He has checked all these boxes for his boss.

"That's what has allowed him to keep this going now that he's been here," Bell said. “He started off strong and met the home plan, but only his mature approach and his behavior. He is very confident in the record. "

That confidence peaked at eighth, when Aquino pulled a full bill with two outs and a runner in second place against Keone Kela one of Pirate's foremost installation teams. On the fourth curve ball he saw from Kela, Aquino turned and drove it into the left lane for a forward drive at that time.

"I think those are the moments that make a player a really good player," Aquino said, "the moments when it's clutch, clutch to bat, and I really like these bats."

Although that lead was not due to Raisel Iglesias "four hit excursion in an interval of 12 places, whose final allowed Pablo Reyes to play for the Pirates, Aquino again showed why the Reds consider him such a big part of their future. Whether the team can do a late-season streak along the stretch, his development is a huge key for the club.

"His attitude is really solid," Bell said, "so we continues to challenge him. "

Jake Crouse is reporter / editor for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. Follow him on Twitter @JakeCrouseMLB.


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