Born: November 22, 1992
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 180
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2005 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Trade (from Blue Jays for cash)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: Beverly Hills Sports Council


Aquino got off to a good start as a Rockies’ prospect, dominating the Dominican Summer League for two years and continuing to pitch well in short season ball in the US.  He ran into more trouble once he got to full season ball.  Aquino has above-average velocity for a lefty, sitting in the low-90s, but he doesn’t trust the fastball and tends to start throwing a lot of changeups at times.  He also throws a curve.  His command draws mixed reviews.  He’s had high groundball rates so far and hasn’t shown much of a platoon split.  The Rockies added him to their 40-man roster after the 2013 season, then traded him to Toronto before the 2015 season.  The Blue Jays designated him for assignment in May as part of a series of moves, then sold him to the Pirates.

DSL:  4-3-0, 1.02 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 61.2 IP, 1.3 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

Aquino had little trouble with the DSL in his first pro year, which he pitched at age 17.  He made a dozen starts.

DSL:  8-2-0, 1.30 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 89.2 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Colorado sent Aquino back to the DSL and he had largely the same season.  Baseball America rated him the Rockies’ 26th best prospect after the season.

DSL:  6-1-0, 1.52 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 65.0 IP, 1.3 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
R+:  4-0-0, 1.87 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 43.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 7.5 K/9 

When the Rockies were unhappy with Aquino’s conditioning and intensity during training camp, they sent him back to the DSL for a third year.  He dominated more than ever in nine starts there, so they brought him up to advanced rookie ball for seven starts.  He continued to dominate there.  BA ranked him the Rockies’ 9th best prospect after the season.

A-:  0-1-0, 3.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 2.0 BB/9, 6.3 K/9
A:  0-9-0, 4.78 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 64.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Aquino opened in short season ball and pitched well, but his K rate dropped to a low level.  After four starts, they moved him up to low A, where for the first time he found the batters could hit him.  BA rated him Colorado’s 28th best prospect after the season and the Rockies added him to their 40-man roster.

A+:  5-10-0, 5.40 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 95.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
AA:  0-0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 6.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Aquino had a difficult time in the high-offense California League, as many pitching prospects do.  The Rockies moved him up to AA for two starts at the end of the season and he held his own.

A+:  2-2-0, 2.81 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 25.2 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 5.6 K/9

Before the season, Colorado sent Aquino to Toronto in a minor deal.  The Blue Jays sent him to high A, where his improved ERA probably reflects going from the best hitting league in the minors to the best pitching league.  The very low K rate shows he wasn’t dominating hitters before the Pirates acquired him.

Aquino is similar to Angel Sanchez:  he had significant success early, then didn’t seem to get the results his potential warranted as he reached higher levels.  The Pirates will assign him to Bradenton, where he’ll probably be a starter.  He has one more option after 2015, which may make it difficult for the Pirates to retain him beyond that.

UPDATE:  Aquino was very erratic after the Pirates acquired him.  In July, they designated him for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Pedro Florimon.  There’s a good chance he’ll clear waivers.

Signing Bonus: $175,000
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2016
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2013
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2014, 2015)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
July 2, 2009: Signed with the Colorado Rockies as an international free agent.
November 20, 2013: Contract purchased by the Colorado Rockies.
February 4, 2015: Traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Toronto Blue Jays for Tyler Ybarra.
May 5, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays.
May 10, 2015: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
July 22, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.