Dan Vogelbach has raked since joining the Milwaukee Brewers as the beleaguered slugger has found new life in a new home.
There’s just something familiar about Dan Vogelbach. Perhaps it’s that he looks like the No. 3 hitter on your local beer league softball team. Perhaps it’s because he shares a passing resemblance to late comedian Chris Farley. Perhaps it’s because he’s in a similar spot that another lovable former Brewers first baseman was in just a few years ago.
There are some striking similarities.
Is Dan Vogelbach The 2020 Version Of Jesus Aguilar?
Let’s see, both players were put on waivers by their old teams, both were first basemen that had a few defensive question marks, and both found offensive success with the Brewers.
Both players are big-bodied first baseman that bring a lot of humor and levity to the clubhouse. There’s just a fun-loving way to both of them that fans just can’t help but attach to.
However, there are also some key differences. Vogelbach was an All-Star last year with the Mariners and was struggling in his second full season in the bigs when he was put on waivers while Jesus Aguilar had exhausted all of his minor league options and had only a handful of at-bats in the big leagues when he was claimed by the Brewers.
Vogelbach is also a left handed hitter while Aguilar is a righty.
Nevertheless, Vogelbach still contains several years of team control just as Aguilar did and has quickly become a fan favorite.
Dan Vogelbach Resurgence
Prior to joining the Brewers, Vogelbach was hitting a paltry .088 (5-for-57) with two homers and a sub-.500 OPS.
Since joining the Crew, Vogelbach is hitting .395 (17-for-43) with three homers and a 1.109 OPS.
It’s important to note that his success with the Brewers has been over a small sample size, and in his All-Star season last year, Vogelbach hit just .208 with a .780 OPS. While Vogelbach does have a pretty high ceiling as a hitter, he’s most likely not going to all of a sudden become a .300 hitter over a full season.
Still, Vogelbach has certainly shown enough to lead us to think that the Brewers should bring him back for 2021. He’s under team control through 2024, but given his struggles earlier in the year, he was initially thought to be a possible non-tender or waiver candidate during the offseason. The Brewers were simply hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and see if Vogelbach could do anything, and so far he has.
With his recent success, it would make sense to bring him back for 2021 and see if he can lock down a full time job over a whole season.
Back in 2017, Jesus Aguilar was mostly a part-time player but succeeded in the role and came back with the chance for a bigger role in 2018. He had to compete with Eric Thames for the job and ended up getting it after Thames had to go on the IL and thrived as the regular starter.
Vogelbach can do the same thing, having only played part of the season for the Brewers this year and with an opportunity to take on a larger role in 2021 at first base. If Ryan Braun returns for 2021, he will likely spend a lot of time at DH, if that position remains in the NL rules next year. Should all those things happen, Vogelbach would have to spend most of his time at first base.
He’s lovable for a lot of reasons, but the main reason the Brewers love him right now is because he’s hitting. It hasn’t even been 50 plate appearances yet, but he’s been hot and he’s provided a spark for this offense.
Much like Jesus Aguilar, Dan Vogelbach is a player that Brewers fans just can’t help but enjoy.