CLEVELAND -- The Indians already believe Jesus Aguilar is developing nicely into a right-handed power threat with Triple-A Columbus. Cleveland is now evaluating whether the first-base prospect can hold his own at the hot corner.
The Indians plan on having Aguilar play third base roughly once every 10 days to determine if he might have a future across the diamond. Aguilar played some third over the winter for Caracas in Venezuela out of necessity for the team and performed well enough for the Major League club to consider extending the experiment.
"We don't see a potential downside to it," said Indians vice president of player development Ross Atkins. "It's a potential add to his repertoire. So, if we can do it, that's what we're assessing. Now, he obviously can play the position, but it's another thing to play it here at the Major League level.
"He has good hands. He has plenty of arm. He has decent actions. It just will come down to agility and ability to make the play coming in, ranging hard to his right, plays that require a little more athleticism.
"And then, based on what we see, we may decide to increase it. We'll be cautious of what the demands are on his body."
Offensively, the 23-year-old Aguilar has enjoyed a hot start this season, building on his strong campaign last year.
Aguilar set a Double-A Akron record in 2013 with 105 RBIs, and hit .291 with 34 homers, 35 doubles and 155 RBIs in 188 games (725 at-bats) between Akron and Caracas last year. Through 17 games with Columbus this season, Aguilar hit .393 with five home runs, five doubles, eight walks, 11 runs, 13 RBIs and a 1.185 OPS.
Aguilar's April showing comes after he went 0-for-15 in 11 games for the Indians in Spring Training.
"Spring Training is interesting," Atkins said. "We didn't see anything significant in his swing or his approach to suggest that he should make any adjustments in Spring Training. He's been fantastic."