Aguilar gets hot before Futures Game

Indians' first-base prospect slugs two homers, plates four runs

By David Heck / Special to | June 26, 2012 7:38 PM ET

Jesus Aguilar recently was honored to make the All-Star Futures Game roster. And if he keeps hitting the way he has, he might have more reason to celebrate after the actual game.

The Indians' No. 20 prospect went 3-for-4 with two homers, a double and four RBIs on Tuesday, leading the Class A Advanced Carolina Mudcats past the Frederick Keys, 8-6.

Aguilar, who also crossed home three times Tuesday, is batting .469 with four homers, 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored in his past 10 games. The Mudcats' win broke a streak of three consecutive shutouts for the Keys.

"I'm working on my focus right now at the plate and my balance," Aguilar said. "That's been my major focus, the balance, over the last 10 or 12 games. It's working for me."

The 21-year-old first baseman made his only out of the day in his first at-bat, grounding into a 6-4 forceout. After that, he smacked a two-run homer in the fourth inning to end Frederick's record 29-inning scoreless streak. The native of Venezuela capped his day with a double in the fifth and another two-run shot in the seventh.

"I was looking at breaking pitches and sliders," Aguilar said. "But I got a couple changeups and made good contact on them."

Aguilar, who signed with the Indians as a non-drafted free agent in 2007, toiled in the lower levels of the Minors for several years before he started to make a name for himself. He enjoyed a breakout campaign last season, hitting .284 with 23 longballs and 82 RBIs between Class A Lake County and Class A Advanced Kinston.

Though Aguilar scuffled in 31 Carolina League games in 2011, posting a .257 average with a .712 OPS, he has handled the level much better this year. Through 70 contests, he is batting .310 with nine homers, 37 RBIs and a .908 OPS.

Those numbers have earned him an invitation to the Futures Game, which will be played July 8 in Kansas City.

"I'm really excited because it's a big step for me," Aguilar said. "I called my family and they're all excited. It's great. I can't wait for the game."

So what does Aguilar think his chances are of staying hot for another 10 days?

"I don't know. I'm going to keep working hard and try," he said. "Baseball's one of those games where you never know what you'll get, but I'm going to keep working hard at it."

David Heck is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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