The Cleveland Indians have spent the last few offseasons looking for a power bat, more so from the right side. They may not have that bat in 2014, but could have that player next season in 6-foot-3, 250-pound Jesus Aguilar. Indians fans got a glimpse of Aguilar when he played in four games, collecting his first hit and RBI in a win over the Detroit Tigers before going back to triple-A to hit for the Columbus Clippers.
The bat is now back with the Indians as the team put Nick Swisher on the 15-day DL with a knee injury. This time, Aguilar may get more of an exposed look, and if he can take advantage of the chance, it could mean him getting more of a permanent role on the team next season.
He’s hitting to all fields and showing solid plate discipline this season in Columbus, drawing 22 walks and 37 strikeouts, good numbers for a batter who is expected to hit home runs. With an extended look, the team may see a different-looking Aguilar than the first time around when he struck out four times in seven at-bats.
The biggest question with Aguilar is where he would play if he were to earn a full-time promotion. The team could use him at first while shifting Swisher either to the outfield or to DH. Right now, the team has two players at third base, with Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall both at the major league level, so playing him there seems unlikely.
That leaves the biggest options to DH or 1B, which may not be bad considering the poor play of Swisher this season. He’s getting older and will be entering the third year of his four-year deal he inked before the start of the 2013 season. Look for the team to take a much more serious look at Aguilar this time around, and to think about what may be a solid future for him at the big league level.