Breakout Year Continues For Indians' Aguilar





CLEVELAND—After the season he had in 2011 and his start to the Arizona Fall League, more and more Indians fans are going to become acquainted with first baseman Jesus Aguilar.

"Aguilar had an impressive year, performing extremely well for his age in both leagues and showing legitimate plus power to all fields," assistant farm director Carter Hawkins said. "He was able to become more consistent at-bat to at-bat this year, and that allowed him to tap into his raw ability more effectively."

The 6-foot-3, 241-pound Aguilar signed out of Venezuela in 2007. He spent his first two years of professional baseball playing in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.

In 2010 he got his first taste of baseball in the U.S., hitting .244/.301/.306 in 32 games at short-season Mahoning Valley after batting .259/.293/.482 in 29 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

It wasn't until 2011 that the righthanded slugger began to show real signs of progress, splitting the season between low Class A Lake County and high Class A Kinston.

Aguilar hit .292/.370/.544 with 27 doubles, two triples, 19 home runs and 69 RBIs for the Captains. When the 21-year old was promoted to Kinston, he batted .257/.323/.389 in 31 games with three doubles and 13 RBIs. He looked good enough to earn a roster spot in the Arizona Fall League.

"We had a need at first base in the fall league," Hawkins said. "And with the way he handled himself in the Carolina League, we felt comfortable with him taking on the challenge. Clearly, the early returns have been encouraging."

Through 12 games, Aguilar was hitting .354/.466/.667 with six doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs.

"Despite his size, he is surprisingly agile around the bag at first base," Hawkins said. "We feel like he has the potential to be an impact bat for us down the road."

SMOKE SIGNALS

• Tommy John surgery essentially wiped out righthander Hector Rondon's 2011 minor league season, but he's pitching this winter for Caracas in the Venezuelan League.

• The Indians finalized their major league coaching staff for the 2012 season. The team promoted Scott Radinsky to pitching coach and named Dave Miller bullpen coach and Tom Wiedenbauer first-base coach.