Monday, November 24, 2014

The Clipper Contestant

I had a great time this last summer attending The Triple A All-Star Game hosted by the Durham Bulls.  The team did an outstanding job of hosting the event and showcasing the best players from the International and Pacific Coast Leagues.  I still have my program from the game handy and still have some strong opinions about some of the players I had a chance to watch.  The PCL players I do not get to watch outside of the highlights on the Minor League website, but International League players I keep up with mainly just by keeping up with the Bulls.  One of the players I was eager to watch at the All-Star Game was Indians prospect Jesus Aguilar.

Aguilar actually played for the Carolina Mudcats (Indians High A team) back in 2012.  He's was a big guy without a real position, and while he got on base and hit for a good average, it was not clear that he had enough pop in his bat to really make a huge impact in the Majors.  Two years later he was in the International League playing for Columbus Clippers and was one of the bigger offensive threats in the league.  Aguilar was named an All-Star based in large part to his first month of the 2014 season where he hit .356/.440/.667 with 7 homers and 16 RBIs.  I had seen Aguilar in games before, but it was fun to see him hit in the Home Run Derby.  

His raw power was really impressive to see in person.  He has a great swing and generates a good deal of power.  I usually do not like to buy into a lot of the comparisons that people throw out there about Minor Leaguers.  However, the comparisons between Aguilar and Boston's David Ortiz could be pretty spot on.  Aguilar has been kind of late bloomer, has good power, hits for a good average, and draws a lot of walks.  Hopefully the Indians will be a little more patient with Aguilar then the Twins were with Ortiz.  Unless they want to trade him to the Cardinals or Rays....then I am game.  Here's a look at Aguilar during the Derby.....

A video posted by The Snorting Bull (@thesnortingbull) on

After watching Aguilar I immediately went out and tried to find a couple of his cards.  The problem?  There are not very many at all.  A couple of team issues, a Leaf product or two, and an odd or end in a Bowman set, but nothing really to fun looking.  Enter Topps Supreme.....

Aguilar has several different autographs in the product.  Most are flying way under the radar compared to most high end prospects.  His Leaf autographs have been selling for slightly less than $5 over the past couple of months, but his Supreme autographs are only slightly more expensive and can be had for a little more than $5.  It seems that the really low print runs do not add much of premium onto the price of his cards yet either.  My copy of his autograph from the Supreme set cost me $7 and is limited to just 35 copies.  The purple version of this card, numbered out of 25, sold for just a dollar more.  

Aguilar should be a contender for the American League Rookie of the Year next year, especially if the Indians move Nick Swisher and free up some at bats for Jesus at first base and DH.  Last season the Tribe ran Swisher out to first base and DH for 86 games and he hit .206/.278/.331.  Pretty pathetic.  Aguilar can do much better for a lot less money.  

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