22 home runs. 63 RBIs. A .303 batting average paired with an NL-leading .633 slugging percentage. Good numbers for an entire season, right?
Well, Jesús Aguilar put those up in 79 games… and didn’t make the All-Star game.
A bevy of factors could have played into Aguilar missing the first edition of the All-Star roster, but nearly all stem from one overarching theme: Aguilar, as big and powerful as he is, is a little-known commodity. He didn’t start the season as the Brewers starting first baseman. In fact, he started out as the Brewers’ third string first baseman. Accordingly, he was not on the All-Star ballot, and did not even begin playing regularly until Ryan Braun and Eric Thames went down with injuries. Aguilar also doesn’t have the name recognition of players like Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt, but he’s playing right at their level (and often above it) day in and day out.
Aguilar didn’t slug his first home run until April 21st, a walk off shot against the Marlins. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come, as Jesús has since hit 21 more in his breakout season, the most in the NL over that span. Oh, and before I forget, that also makes him tied for the lead in home runs for the entire season, too. He essentially gave the rest of the league a head start of over three weeks and is still beating them all.
Aguilar not only has the stats and skill of an all-star, but also the personality and charisma of one. He is the glue that keeps the Brewers clubhouse together. Even if you kept intact the talent that he has added to the lineup, it is close to a guarantee that without his goofy presence, this would not be the same first-place Brewers team that we see today. He represents everything that the ideal ballplayer should be: skilled, humble, and fun.
However, there is still a hope for Aguilar to make the All-Star roster, and that is via the final vote. He has his back up against the wall against four larger-than-Milwaukee market players: Max Muncy (Los Angeles), Trea Turner (Washington), Brandon Belt (San Francisco), and Matt Carpenter (St. Louis).
Will Milwaukee repay Jesús for all the memories he has given us this far? Do your part by voting here, and help him join teammates Lorenzo Cain, Josh Hader, and Christian Yelich in Washington.