Aguila Returns Following Promotion

Aguila has been the Zephyrs big bat all season

New Orleans outfielder Chris Aguila is currently having a career season at the plate as he leads the club in home runs while hovering around a .300 batting average. However, last week the Zephyrs had to do without Aguila as he returned to the big leagues for the first time in two seasons. Now he is back in the Pacific Coast League ready to continue what he started.

Photo by Gillian Rich

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Chris Aguila, the 29-year-old outfielder, was called up by the Mets June 11 after a hot streak with the Zephyrs, which saw him bat .500 and hit six home runs in the last part of May. His short stint in the middle of June was the first time Aguila had been in the majors since 2006. Previously, Aguila had played for the Marlins in 2005-2006, where he appeared in 114 games in the two seasons with an average of .298 in 2006. This time around in the Majors, Aguila had six at-bats in three games with the Mets with only one hit. While this wasn't Aguila's first time in the Majors he was still excited to have been there.

"Anytime you get a chance to go up to the big leagues it's exciting, and being that it was with an organization with so much tradition and the talent there is in the big leagues right now, it was amazing," Aguila said.

Aguila's time with the came and went as the Mets were front and center in the media for another reason. A few days after he returned to the Zephyrs, the New Orleans' pitching coach and team manager were called up to replace Willie Randolph and Rick Peterson. However, Aguila focuses on his game and didn't let the drama in the organization get to him.

"I know that the guys up there as a team are not playing quite up to their ability and obviously with the media attention with Willie Randolph," Aguila said. "But for me on a personal level it was exciting. My wife was there and we got to experience that together. It was awesome."

May was a hot month for Aguila as he was named Pacific Coast League's player of the week on June 1. He leads the Zephyrs in home runs with 17 and RBIs with 40. Unfortunately, after a fantastic May he began to cool off and now has a .298 average in the 66 games played for the Zephyrs.

Aguila attributes his success and hot streak this season to hard work rather than anything specific. He has tried to be consistent with his workouts throughout his ups and downs this season, hoping that will lead to an overall more consistent and productive year.

"I truly think a lot of my success this season is from hard work; working with the hitting coach and hitting in the off season. Personally I've gone though some highs and lows this season, I would like to stay more consistent with the all around game. I think success comes from hard work and good preparation," Aguila said.

Aguila, who leads New Orleans with home runs, believes that while his strength has improved overall, his ability to hit the long ball has more to do with being more selective with pitches rather than pure power.

"I pretty much stick with the same routine. I think I've been a bit more selective with pitches I can personally handle and drive," Aguila said.

In some ways Aguila believes his home run success this season has a lot to do with his hot streak and is not to be expected every season. He views himself as more of a consistent hitter rather than a 30 home run season type player.

"Like I've said I've had some really hot streaks and during those streaks I've just so happened to hit home runs. I don't think I'm the type of guy that's going to come into a league and hit 30 home runs every season. I just want to go up there and get swings on pitches I can hit, fortunately for me during my hot streaks I've hit a few out of the park," he said.

After this recent hot streak, three games with the Mets and a cooling off period, Aguila would like to return to his consistent schedule and get back to improving on a daily basis.

"I just want to get back into the same routine I had before going up there and to get back on schedule to continue to improve and work day in and day out, try to stay healthy and hope for the best," Aguila said.

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