Jesus Aguilar makes this list because of the overall success he’s had in 2018 but in particular because of his monstrous first half at the plate.
Aguilar may have cooled off since the All-Star break but he has still been very productive in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup. With the pace he was on at the start of the year, it was a realistic expectation that he would not be able to keep those numbers up over the course of the full season.
Jesus had put together one of the best first halves of baseball in Brewers history. At the All-Star break he had a batting average of .298, very high for a power hitter and was good for tenth best in the NL at the time. He was first in slugging percentage at .621, first in home runs with 24 and first in OPS at .995. Aguilar also had 70 RBIs at the break, good for third best in the NL and was responsible for some memorable walk off home runs.
Aguilar was able to put up these gaudy numbers and only made nine starts between March and April. It took an unfortunate injury to Thames for Aguilar to crack the lineup. But once he did he never looked back.
Overall in 2018, Aguilar has put up some great numbers. He has a slash line of .275/.352/.541 to go along with 34 home runs and 105 RBIs. Two of the big reasons for Aguilar’s success is his strength and ability to go to the opposite field with the baseball.
Pitchers don’t want to come inside to Jesus, so they will often pitch to the outer portion of the strike zone. Many power hitters would try to pull these pitches but Aguilar will wait back and slap the ball to right field. And because he is so strong, he is still able to drive the ball and hit home runs to the opposite field.
Without Jesus Aguilar’s emergence in the first half of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers would most likely still be fighting for a playoff spot. He has been apart of many rallies and big innings that led to a Brewers win.