ROME, GA - For parts of the last three seasons in Charleston, RiverDogs fans enjoyed the terrific defensive display of Venezuelan infielder Angel Aguilar. After arriving in the South Atlantic League as just a 19-year-old in 2015, Aguilar has taken a leap forward in his development, and has been rewarded with a promotion to High-A Tampa as announced by the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
Aguilar, 22-years-old and a plus defender at both second and third base, found his swing in his third season with Charleston, hitting .265/.311/.368 while adding two home runs, driving in 30, and swiping three bases with the RiverDogs in 59 games. The right-handed bat was arguably Charleston's most important player over the first month when he hit .324 and drove in 15 RBI in 19 games in April (.776 OPS).
In a corresponding move, the Yankees' 17th round pick from the 2017 draft, second baseman Chris Hess, has been called up from Staten Island after appearing in four games in the New York-Penn League.
Originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Aguilar spent his first two seasons in the Dominican Summer League before having his breakout campaign in the Gulf Coast League where he was managed by the current RiverDogs skipper Patrick Osborn in 2014. With the GCL Yankees 2, Aguilar hit .311 while leading the rookie-level league in home runs (7) and slugging (.536) and finished tenth in batting. Aguilar has spent parts of the past three seasons with the RiverDogs, owning a .236 career batting average with 13 homers in 210 games with Charleston.
Hess, 22, joins the Yankees organization after four seasons in the Atlantic 10 with the University of Rhode Island where he hit .347 (77-for-222) with career-bests in home runs (8), RBI (48), and stolen bases (12) his senior season along with an impressive .414 on-base percentage. Lauded for his combination of speed and power, Hess ripped a school-record 10 triples with the Rams in 2016, and added 33 total extra-base hits this past season. His 19 triples over his four-year career is a program record, and the North Kingston, R.I. native ranks among the top five in school history in career extra-base knocks, total bases, and slugging percentage.
With their retooled roster, the RiverDogs continue their longest road trip of the season with a four-game tilt in Rome against the Braves, continuing with game two on Tuesday night at State Mutual Stadium at 7pm. Charleston will send right-hander Freicer Perez (3-2, 3.24) to face Braves lefty Tucker Davidson (1-2, 2.38). The game can be tuned into on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and streaming online on riverdogs.com and via the RiverDogs station on the TuneIn Radio app.
RiverDogs tickets, including options for the all-new Riley Park Club, are now available and can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can't make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area or by streaming online at riverdogs.com and the TuneIn Radio App by searching "RiverDogs."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.