The Milwaukee Brewers have been full of surprises this year. Some good, some not so good, but focusing on the bright side of this conversation, we need to acknowledge the one bat in the line-up that has carried this team all season.
Jesus Aguilar has been one of the biggest surprises in Major League Baseball thus far in 2018. Now that we sit a the end of August and are in the thick of playoff races throughout baseball, Aguilar has proven that he is the real deal. He is more than capable of leading a team to October.
Is Aguilar Back to form?
Sure, he was in a slump after the All-Star break, but now he is back and starting to return to his first-half form when he slashed .298/.373/.621, Ops .994. He had 24 home runs and drove in 70 RBIs prior to the AllStar Game.
Currently, Aguilar is slashing .245/.355/.477 with an OPS of .802, five home runs and 20 RBIs since the All-Star break. His numbers have fallen off a bit, but he has done his job trying to keep the Milwaukee Brewers afloat in a crucial stretch.
Aguilar’s Hot Streak
In the last two weeks, Aguilar is tearing the cover off of the baseball once again. He has posted a .364/.451/.614 slash line and has hit three of his post-All-Star break bombs in that stretch to go along with 13 RBIs.
Aguilar vs. other MVP candidates
Also in the running for the National League’s most prestigious award is an arch rival from the north side of Chicago, Javier Baez. He’s also up against another rival in the middle of a hot streak, Matt Carpenter.
Baez and Carpenter are each having a great season of there own, but do they beat out Aguilar? Baez is slashing .290/.322/.561 and has 25 home runs and 89 RBIs. Carpenter owns a line of .272/.386/.580 and he has a league-leading 34 homers with 69 RBIs.
Looking at Baez and Carpenters last two weeks, they seem to have hit a rough patch at the time Aguilar has done the opposite. Baez has line of .191/.204/.277 and Carpenter owns a line of .196/.328/.510. These numbers indicate a possible decline and maybe even a shift in the MVP discussions.
On the year, Aguilar is slashing .284/.369/.577 and has 29 home runs to go along with 89 RBIs. The only major stat that he needs to improve is his hits on the season. Aguilar has 104 to Baez’ 133 and Carpenter’s 120.
Arizona Diamondbacks first basemen, Paul Goldschmidt is also lurking at the outside of the NL MVP race. After a rough start to 2018, Goldschmidt has really turned his season around. He looks like an easy top-three finisher for the award once again.
Goldschmidt’s line of .293/.398/.577 with 28 home runs and 71 RBIs are sure to make for fierce competition.
Since this is Aguilar’s official breakout season and longevity of production seems to be a major factor to the voters even though the MVP award is based on year by year progress. If Aguilar can stay hot throughout the rest of the year, he could definitely earn votes for the award. He could even come away as the victor if the Milwaukee Brewers get into the post season.