Aguilar aiming to be more of an asset

March 13th, 2016

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First baseman Jesus Aguilar signed with the Indians almost a decade ago and is a known commodity within the organization.

He's in camp this year determined to be much more of an asset and shirk any labels that have been placed upon him.

"This is an important Spring Training for me, but they are all important," Aguilar, 25, said. "I just need to come in and be ready for whenever they need me. I have to be in the best condition and position possible when they call me."

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Aguilar went 1-for-4 with a home run in Cleveland's 6-4 loss to San Diego on Saturday and, serving as designated hitter, went 2-for-5 with two RBIs in Sunday's 9-4 split-squad win over the Royals. Overall, he has six hits in 23 at-bats in 12 games this spring. He's built a reputation as a power hitter in the Minors, but Saturday's homer was his first extra-base hit of spring.

"We know him pretty well. This is his third spring with us," manager Terry Francona said. "He's had two pretty good big years at Triple-A. It's nice to see him hit the ball out of the ballpark. That's actually the first home run I've seen him hit."

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Aguilar hit 19 home runs and drove in 93 runs at Triple-A last season and has combined to hit 110 home runs in eight seasons in the Minors. He has 10 hits in 52 at-bats with one double in 26 games in the big leagues with the Indians during the last two seasons.

He signed with Cleveland as an international free agent in 2007.

"I think if I get the opportunity to play every day, I can show them what I can do in the big leagues," Aguilar said. "I know I can do more with more opportunities. My goal is to be in the big leagues, but if I don't start there, I want to be there during the season and help the team the best way I can."

"This spring is not going to define [Aguilar]," Francona said. "What he does during the season, whether it's here or wherever, will. It's been hard to find him starts because we have [Mike] Napoli and [Carlos] Santana, so to let him play a full game is good for him."