Milwaukee Brewers: Grading Jesus Aguilar’s 2018 season
Continuing on with our individual player grades for the Milwaukee Brewers 2018 season, we will be taking a look at first baseman Jesus Aguilar and just how well he did this year.
Jesus Aguilar really came out of nowhere in 2018 for the Milwaukee Brewers and did not begin starting consistently for this team until Eric Thames was placed on the disabled list.
It’s crazy to think that the amazing season had by Aguilar may not have happened had Thames stayed healthy. Below I will grade Jesus Aguilar on his regular season, post season and overall performances for 2018. Let’s take a look at how he fared!
Regular Season: A-
Heading into the season, Aguilar was not expected to have a huge role for this Milwaukee Brewers team. He was expected to be used mostly off the bench, but things can quickly change and Aguilar became one of the biggest contributors to the Brewers success in 2018.
Even though he is known for hitting home runs, what makes Aguilar so special at the plate is his ability to take the ball to the opposite field. That’s a characteristic we don’t usually see from power hitters who will generally try to pull many of the pitches they see. And because of his strength, Aguilar was still able to hit many of his home runs to right field.
Aguilar was able to put together one of the greatest first halves of baseball in recent memory and I am confident in saying that without him playing as well as he did, the Brewers aren’t in position to win the division title in September. Just as Christian Yelich carried this team in the second half, Aguilar did much of the same in the first half of the season.
Over that impressive first half, Aguilar hit 24 home runs, had an incredible 70 RBIs and had a slash line of .298/.373/.621 and an OPS of .995. This led to Aguilar making his first All-Star team of his career via a final fan vote, which I still think is ridiculous that it came down to that.
Now, Aguilar’s second half wasn’t as good as his first, but when you’re putting up the numbers he was, that’s a nearly impossible pace to maintain for an entire season. However, he was still a big contributor to Milwaukee’s postseason push.
Aguilar finished the year with 35 home runs, good for fifth most in the NL, as well as 108 RBIs which was fourth most in the NL. Aguilar’s final slash line was .274/.352/.539 and an OPS of .890. Fantastic numbers all around, especially for a player that is considered to be a power hitter.
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Given his all around solid season on offense and his incredible first half, Jesus Aguilar has earned a well deserved A- for his regular season performance.
Just like a majority of the Milwaukee Brewers offense in October, Jesus Aguilar’s bat went cold in the playoffs as he struggled to put solid at-bats together.
The Aguilar we saw for the most part in October was not who we saw during the regular season. He seemed to be pressing when up to bat, which led to him being impatient and swinging at pitches he normally wouldn’t go after.
Taking what the pitcher gave him and being able to hit the ball to right field is what made him so successful during the regular season, but he seemed to get away from that in the playoffs. Aguilar was a starter in every postseason game but in all but one of them, he accumulated just one hit.
His best performance came in game six of the NLCS where he went 3-4 at the plate and had three RBIs. Aguilar looked like his old self during this game and was a huge reason that the Brewers were able to force a game seven.
Unfortunately, the rest of the games did not go well. Aguilar had 41 plate appearances and recorded just eight total hits. Although two of those hits were home runs, it was a disappointing postseason. Aguilar finished with a slash line of .216/.275/.459 and an OPS of .734.
Aguilar received his C- grade in the playoffs because of his inconsistency at the plate. He had a few special moments this postseason but overall given how well he played during the regular season, it was a disappointing finish.
Jesus Aguilar truly came out of nowhere in 2018 and ended up playing a huge role for the Milwaukee Brewers. In a season that the Brewers had many memorable moments, Aguilar was an unlikely hero.
Aguilar brought stability and a consistent bat to the first base position and was able to put up first half numbers that we may not see for a while from a power hitter.
Sadly, he was unable to carry over the regular season momentum to the playoffs and ultimately that is what lowered his overall final grade.
However, do not let that detract from just how special Jesus Aguilar was for the Brewers in 2018. It was a phenomenal season and it will provide him with a great jumping off point heading into the 2019.