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Milwaukee Brewers: Is Aguilar a lock at first base for 2019?

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers smiles at the Brewers dugout after hitting a single in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers smiles at the Brewers dugout after hitting a single in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Jesus Aguilar was an All-Star in 2018, but his second half and post-season stats may suggest he’s not a lock to remain the Milwaukee Brewers’ starting first baseman throughout 2019.

After a very strong first few months of the 2018, Jesus Aguilar took over the starting first base duties from Eric Thames and ended up representing the Milwaukee Brewers in the All-Star Game.  This was the first time in Aguilar’s career where he received regular at-bats and he made the most of it.  During the first half he hit .298 with an OBP of .373 along with 24 homers, and 70 RBIs.

The second half of 2018 tells a different story. During this time Aguilar hit .245 with an OBP of .324 along with 11 homers and 38 RBIs.  During the post-season things got considerably worse.  In 41 plate appearances he hit .216 with an OBP of .275 with two home runs and five RBIs. He had only one multi-hit game the entire post-season.

While Aguilar’s overall 2018 stat line looks very good, his second half dip and post-season dud make you wonder if he’s really a lock to start at first for all of 2019.  With only 337 at-bats going into 2018, is it possible that teams have now figured out how to pitch to Aguilar?

How does the Brewers 2019 infield look now?

The Milwaukee Brewers just signed Mike Moustakas and the initial plans are to put him at second base and move Travis Shaw back to third. Keep in mind, Moustakas has never played second in his professional career. This is a short term solution until the Brewers feel comfortable bringing their number one prospect, Keston Hiura, up to play second base.

When that happens, possibly some time early this summer, it will mean an infield shake up in order to get Hiura enough at-bats to warrant the call-up. If teams have figured out how to pitch to Aguilar and if he doesn’t get off to a very strong start, we could see Shaw get moved over to first, Moustakas moved back to third, and Hiura starting at second base.

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Aguilar’s dip in productivity during the second half of last season, Moustakas moving to a position he’s never played professionally, an inevitable Hiura call-up and Shaw having experience at first base could lead to a different infield look and every day lineup for the second half of this season.

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