Milwaukee Brewers: Fans right a wrong for Jesus Aguilar
The Milwaukee Brewers had an issue at first base coming into the season. They had two great hitters and only one position to go around. Oddly enough, Jesus Aguilar was not one of the two players who figured into the initial everyday rotation at first.
Ryan Braun and Eric Thames were the two guys who were supposedly locked into a platoon. Aguilar was the odd man out and appeared to be on the outside looking in as far as playing time goes. Fortunately, manager Craig Counsell is a forward thinker and was open to playing the hot bat.
This was the case when Aguilar took advantage of a struggling Braun and an injured Thames. As he was thrust into the starting lineup and everyday at-bats, he kept proving himself over and over again. His remarkable rise catapulted his name into the conversation for one of the best players in the National League in 2018 and a legitimate MVP candidate on the NL’s best team.
That’s why it was such a monster error when he was even left off the NL All-Star team. Luckily, there was a final fan vote and Brewers’ fans came out in droves to make sure this wrong was righted. In the end, the MLB announced on Tuesday that Aguilar was the NL’s winner for the fan’s Final Vote and will make an appearance in the All-Star game.
That’s great news for a player who probably never even thought that was possible heading into the season. Aguilar deserves this recognition, as he continues to get better and better as the season progresses.
Milwaukee Brewers roundtable: All-Star teams are in
The Milwaukee Brewers have officially had three players elected to the 2018 MLB All-Star team in Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Josh Hader. They have a chance to get Jesus Aguilar to join them in the final fan vote. Let’s check in with two writers from Dairyland Express to get their thoughts on all things All-Star related.
1. The Brewers had three players selected to the All-Star team. Which one was the most surprising?
Mike Wendlandt (@MikeWendlandt): Christian Yelich was a bit of a surprise. Lorenzo Cain was essentially a lock with his 4.5 WAR (sevent among all position players, first in NL), the only question with him was going to be his health. And with Josh Hader, his spot was all but assured in early May, when he made Brewers fans forget that Corey Knebel was hurt with a string of dominant appearances and record-setting strikeout numbers.
That leaves Yelich as the only one left. Yelich has been very good in his debut season wearing a Brewers uniform, but he’s been overshadowed by guys like Cain. It was more likely that he would be caught up in the numbers game, but he got the nod by the Player’s Vote. He’s definitely deserving, but is a bigger surprise than Cain or Hader or even Aguilar.
Brian Sampson (@BrianSampsonNBA): Coming from a perspective of making a strong case out of nowhere, Josh Hader is the biggest surprise, by far. Before the season began, nobody could’ve predicted he’d be an All-Star at the halfway point of the season, but here we are!
Hader has been terrific for the Brewers and is only just beginning to scratch the surface. Sure, he got roughed up against the Miami Marlins on Monday night, but that happens to everyone. If his long-term potential is in the bullpen, he figures to become one of the more dominant relievers for the next decade.
Milwaukee Brewers: Jesus Aguilar Wins All Star Final Vote
After being claimed off of waivers in the spring of 2017, Aguilar burst onto the scene during the preseason. He blasted seven home-runs and made such a great early impression that he had a legitimate first base battle take place between him and newly signed Eric Thames.
Aguilar made the 25 man roster and would start out as a pure bench player that could be a good pinch hitter if needed. He would appear in 133 games and slash .265/.331/.505 to go along with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs. He clearly made quite the impression on the Milwaukee Brewers front office and opened the eyes of some die-hard fans.
Going into his 2018 spring training, Aguilar had to yet again fight his way onto a 25 man roster. Luckily, he did just that and his incredible story writes itself from there on out.
The Final Vote
Aguilar, frankly, should’ve been named to the All Star team the first time around, but he was instead put onto the ballot for the Final Vote. Aguilar had to face off against breakout star Max Muncy, and other big name players like Trea Turner, Brandon Belt and Matt Carpenter.
While he had the best statistics of any of the players, winning the vote was not a guarantee. But the Milwaukee Brewers fan base showed out in full force to elect Jesus Aguilar to his first career All Star team.
What were the results?
Aguilar won the final spot on the All Star roster with an astounding 20.2 million votes. That was just the second highest total in the Final Vote history, behind Justin Turner‘s 20.8 million a few years ago.
Where the other players finished behind him in the voting is unknown, but it seems reasonable to assume that Aguilar won in a landslide.
Milwaukee Brewers: Jesus Aguilar the Top Seed in Home Run Derby
For the first time since 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers will have one of their own in the Home Run Derby. Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks both participated that year, and Weeks infamously swung and missed on the first pitch.
Jesus Aguilar was announced as a participant in this year’s Home Run Derby, held at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. To make it even better, Aguilar was given the No. 1 seed going into the Derby.
Aguilar will face off against Rhys Hoskins of the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round. Should he win that round, he will face the winner of Kyle Schwarber and Alex Bregman.
The Derby this year is missing a lot of star power. J.D. Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout are all among MLB leaders in homers but aren’t participating. That gives Aguilar the top seed since he has 23 homers this year, the most in the group.
Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, and Javier Baez are the other players in the bracket and will start on the opposite side of Aguilar.
Can Aguilar win?
Oh he can win this thing. He has the power and an effortless swing that can keep him fresh throughout the night. The Derby is a matter of stamina and pacing yourself. Aguilar has enough strength to last throughout the night and doesn’t have to swing as hard as possible to hit them out.
Will this hurt Aguilar’s swing?
Maybe. Aaron Judge struggled to start the second half last year after winning the Derby. But Aguilar might be different. He doesn’t have an uppercut swing, so he shouldn’t be at too much risk of falling into that trap.
Aguilar is a good hitter that just happens to be really big and strong. For a guy like Aguilar, being in the Home Run Derby is a dream come true. He has so much power, he finally gets a chance to show it off.
Given his approach at the plate is not home run oriented, I don’t think this will ruin his swing. So this should just be a fun ride to watch as he tries to be the first Brewers player to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2009.