Post-Season Most Popular Award: Jesus Aguilar
by Tyler Young
Professional sports and the media coverage of them has a coastal bias. Teams in California and New York tend to get more screen time than those in the mid-west. As a result, the players on clubs in the middle of the country can find it difficult to breakthrough the noise and become familiar faces in a league full of talent. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar is taking his opportunity this postseason to show fans why he should be your new favorite player.
Aguilar is one of the main reasons the Brewers have gotten this far to begin with. His 3.1 fWAR this season was fourth-best on the team and one of the top 10 marks among all MLB first basemen. This performance earned the 28-year-old a trip to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
The Venezuela native found October a bit more difficult to start. He went 0-for-6 in games one and two of the NLDS, but he has carried a hot bat since then. Aguilar has a hit in six of the Brewers last seven games, including a breakout performance in game six of the NLCS, where he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and a walk. That brings his batting line in the postseason to .318/.375/.591.
Perhaps the moment that will be most fondly remembered of Aguilar’s time in this postseason came in game two of the NLCS. Brewers starting pitcher Wade Miley had tossed 5.2 scoreless innings before his manager Craig Counsell removed him from the game. At the same time, Aguilar was lifted by way of a double switch. Both Miley and Aguilar walked off the field at the same time. The crowd was giving Miley a standing ovation for the work he had done, but Aguilar took the moment to soak it all in, tip his cap to the fans and pretend as if the cheers where for him.
Fans in Milwaukee have become accustomed to Aguilar’s hijinks. He’s a big 6-foot-3, 250 pound goofball. He let two of his scrawny teammates try on his pants last year...at the same time. Earlier this season he missed a pickoff throw at first base because he was looking at his own broken belt. He’s also a big scaredy cat. After hitting a home run back on Mother’s Day, his own dugout surprised him with confetti. Aguilar nearly leapt out of his skin.
Baseball needs more of Aguilar. He’s jam-packed with talent and maybe even more personality. This is the type of guy a fanbase rallies around and regards as a legend no matter what numbers he puts on the stat-sheet. Even if you don’t support the Brewers you should love Jesus Aguilar. He’s the best.