Anthony Aquilino comes out of tiny LeMoyne College, which means that he didn't see the best of the best when it came to college competition. The competition that he did see though had to come away at least a little impressed. Aquilino was a solid college player who did a lot of things well at LeMoyne and hit an impressive .322 in his college career.
Partly because the Phillies wanted to get a better look at Mitchell Graham and partly because they were impressed enough with Aquilino's abilities, they pushed him up the ladder quickly. The Clearwater infield was relatively crowded, but when Carlos Leon left for Reading, the Phillies decided to throw Aquilino into the mix.
With the Threshers, Aquilino played second base - his natural position - and also played a little at third and short. He showed that he certainly wasn't over-matched by pitchers in A-Ball and put up decent numbers considering the situation that he had come from and how quickly he was being moved along.
|Year / Team||HR||RBI||AVG||AB||R||BB||KO||SB||OBP|
|2004 Gulf Coast League||2||11||.263||76||14||9||15||2||.364|
Batting and Power: The Phillies believe that Aquilino will need a little more work to adjust to a wooden bat before they can truly gauge how well he can hit in the professional ranks. For now, they're looking at a kid who can become a consistent .270 or even a .280 hitter and hopefully keep that level through the minors and into the major league ranks. They would be very happy with those numbers. As for power, there is a little pop in his bat, but those bats aren't aluminum anymore and Aquilino simply won't be a power hitter.
Baserunning and Speed: Aquilino has a good instinct on the basepaths. He has above average speed, but isn't going to set stolen base records. He does have a decent stolen base percentage, swiping bases at an 80% success rate combining his college and pro numbers.
Defense: Scouts believe that position wise, second base is probably the right place for Aquilino. Since he doesn't have much power, shortstop might be more of the "usual" slotting for his abilities. His range is good enough to play at short, but he truly is better suited defensively for second base. He made just two errors in 37 minor league games in 2004 and has good hands and a decent arm.
Projection: It will be interesting to see how the Phillies sort out their young second basemen. Carlos Leon will likely be at Reading, with Ralph Santana at Clearwater, although he'll likely play at a number of positions like he did in 2004, because Tim Moss will be slated for being the Threshers starting second baseman. It's likely that Aquilino will start the season playing second base at Lakewood in 2005. Aquilino is also small in size at just 5' 8", 180 pounds and it will remain to be seen if that will be a factor as he climbs the ladder.
ETA: 2009. Aquilino should move along at a decent rate, but won't be rushed. He's a solid player and takes on new challenges well, so it should be relatively easy for him to move through the system.
Comparison: Brian Roberts (Baltimore). Think of Aquilino as a guy who will take some time to crack a starting lineup, but when he does, he'll be consistent and give all he can. He's not going to put up huge numbers, but he'll do a lot of little things well.