2. Jesus Aguilar is absolutely tearing it up. How big of a revelation has he been for the Brewers?
Mike Wendlandt: Jesus Aguilar was more of a surprise last year as a waiver pickup, using his monster spring to a productive 2017. He’s not as much of a surprise to me this year as I figured that he could put up big time run production if he got to play every day. He was just blocked at first base by Eric Thames and Ryan Braun. Now that Jesus has supplanted Braun as the hitter in the No. 3 hole, he’s got the prime RBI spots that Shaw had when Braun was there and struggling. And he’s delivered.
He’s always had the most raw power on the team, with the possible exception of Thames, but if anything is surprising for him, it’s his plate discipline and ability to fight off tough pitches. With a .380 on-base and a .957 OPS, he’s been a good bet to either make hard contact or find a way on base by walk. So, while he’s not a surprise as a power hitter, he is a surprise as a pure hitter.
Anthony Haag: Aguilar has been a huge boost to the Brewers offense this season. Last year, you could see he was a good player coming off the bench and spelling Thames at times. It was his first year playing in a good amount of games, as he played in 133. Coming into this year, his status was uncertain due to Thames being at first base and Ryan Braun getting playing time there as well.
Due to injuries, Aguilar has established himself as a legitimate everyday player. If Thames was healthy, I would say at the trade deadline you could try and move Thames for a starting pitcher and allow Aguilar to be your every day First Baseman. Last season, he had 16 home runs and this season he already he has nine. Not only that, every time he is at bat, he seems to put the ball in play and any time you can put the ball in play good things are going to happen. He is providing a boost to the middle of the lineup, adding another threat that opposing pitchers have to think about.
During Spring Training he was flying under the radar and there were reports he would not make the team because of their depth. He is a big reason the Brewers are where they are record-wise and playing as well as they are.
Mitchell Reichert: I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what the Brewers were going to do with Jesus Aguilar after it was announced that Ryan Braun would be spending time at first base. Boy, am I glad they have been able to keep him around. He’s been so fun to watch thus far this year and has been able to fill the Eric Thames sized hole in the offense since his thumb injury.
Not only has Aguilar been driving in guys, getting clutch base hits, and smacking dingers at a ridiculous rate, he’s also been able to show good plate discipline on the year, walking 9.3 percent of the time and keeping his strikeout rate near league average. When Thames comes back, I’m not sure what the Brewers plan on doing with their lineup, considering they now have too many good outfielders and too many solid first basemen! Maybe Aguilar can learn to play short and Braun can slide into second base (just kidding).