Eric Aguilera, First Baseman
HT : 6'2
WT : 218 lb.
DOB : July 3, 1990, Cary, IL
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : Illinois State University (Normal, IL)
Acquired : Drafted in 34th round (1,027th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Skyrocketing
Cool Notes :
As a group, once the voting process was over, we, the voters of this countdown, were upset with ourselves letting Eric Aguilera fall so far down in our countdown. Possibly the highest rising prospect of the last two seasons could be one of the bigger steals in Angels history.
Aguilera is a nasty threat at the plate. He can place the ball well, and has some plus power to his game. Aguilera has a long swing and has some swing and miss problems, but his experience and advanced approach allows him to not only read pitchers well, but also create ways to reach base.
Aguilera made the transition to first base from the outfield two seasons ago, once becoming a professional. He actually didn't own a first base mit when he got to Rookie Ball, and had to borrow a glove for some time before getting his own. The transition has been a good one for Aguilera who has stellar range at first, and even stronger receiving skills, and is getting better.
Aguilera has good speed that comes from natural athleticism. His speed won't "wow" you, but he has the capablility to nab a couple bases. His base running skills are a plus to his game, and allows him to be aggressive on the base paths.
Aguilera has good experience with tons of plate appearances in his young career, but has shown signs of wear at the end of the season, which is standard for new draftees. If Aguilera can show he can play through a full season without falling off, he may be a sudden threat as a top prospect.
At Cary-Grove High School, Aguilera finished his senior season with a .425 batting average, nine doubles, four home runs and 33 runs batted in, helping lead Cary-Grove to a Fox Valley Division Championship. Aguilera earned Northwest Herald and Daily Herald First-Team All-Area honors and was named to the Fox-Valley All-Conference Team.
In his freshman year at Heartland Community College, Aguilera hit .442 with 15 doubles, 11 home runs and 59 RBI, helping Heartland to a 49-9-1 record, a number 15 NJCAA ranking and second-place finish in Region 24. He was named to the M-WAC Second-Team All-Conference Team.
Aguilera hit .470 with 18 doubles, six triples, 20 home runs and 71 RBI in his sophomore season, helping he be named the Region 24 Player of the Year, along with earning NJCAA First-Team All-American honors. With the help of Aguilera, Heartland held a 45-11 reocrd, and won a M-WAC Conference Championship, and second-place Region 24 finish. Aguilera was named the Mid-West Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Aguilera transferred to ISU, where he hit .263 in seven games. He hit two home runs and two doubles, holding a .684 slugging percentage with four RBI on five hits. Aguilera was cleared to be medically redshirted.
Aguilera finished his college career with a .330/.355/.483 slash in 52 games his senior season. Aguilera hit seven home runs and eight doubles, picking up 98 total bases on 67 hits. His first hit of the season was a three-run home run, and he began his season with a nine-game on-base streak. Aguilera had nine three hit games, one having all his hits as doubles. Aguilera had a ten-game on-base streak late in the season, where he picked up hits in eight-straight games. He finished the season with All-MVC First-Team honors.
Aguilera had a stellar first taste of pro ball, in Orem, slashing .306/.341/.539 with 22 doubles, 10 home runs, and 53 RBI. Aguilera had a stretch of seven games, where he hit an extra base hit in each game, while going 11-for-26. Aguilera finished the season with a 10-game hit-streak, where he went 18-for-39 (.461), bringing in 13 runs and scoring 10, with three doubles, three home runs, and reached base in more than half his plate appearances (.511). Eight of those final 10 games where multiple hit games. Aguilera picked up multiple hits in 24 of his 59 games.
Aguilera had a terrific past season in Low-A, posting a .292/.342/.446 slash with 22 doubles, 14 home runs, four triples, 17 stolen bases, and 71 RBI. Aguilera had 31 multi-hit games, including a stretch of six straight and seven of nine games. Aguilera reached base safely in his first 15 games, and reached in 101 of his 124 games.
In May of this past season, Aguilera put together a slash of .340/.383/.567, and upgraded that by an ounce in June with a .341/.388/.625 slash, combining the two months for .340/.383/.594 slash, with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, three triples, 29 runs scored, eight stolen bases and 44 RBI. During May, Aguilera had an eight game stretch where he went 17-for-31.
Aguilera finished the season in High-A, where he went 12-for-43 (.279), reaching base in 31.1% of his plate appearances. Aguilera also picked up three doubles in 10 games, while scoring three times.
Aguilera put together a masterful season in Low-A this past year, which should mean a trip to High-A will be welcomed for 2015. He'll be able to face tougher competition, and could have a boost in power numbers in the hitter friendly Cal League.
Aguilera was drafted low, but could be considered a steal pending his time in the higher affiliates. Aguilera is on pace to reach the Majors in 2017 or 2018, and could be a good bench player, and potential starter after some time.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.