Jesús Aguilar Flashes Power and Potential in Brewers 9–4 Victory
When the Milwaukee Brewers claimed Jesús Aguilar off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians, they knew that the slugger brought with him as much power as any prospect in the minors.
Though Aguilar has yet to show his power hitting capabilities in the Major Leagues, failing to hang on with Cleveland’s big league roster, today’s showing against the Colorado Rockies is clearly what the 26-year old first baseman is capable of and what the Brewers had in mind when they claimed him.
Aguilar went 2 for 2 at the plate, driving in three runs and scoring once himself. Two of the RBI’s came on a 7th inning two run homer off of Colorado reliever Ryan Castellani, who gave up three earned runs in his single inning of work.
Aguilar followed up his home run in the 7th by doubling to deep center in the 8th, driving in Dustin Houle. The product of both of Aguilar’s at-bats were powerful drives into the outfield, something he has grown accustomed to in the minors but couldn’t reproduce in the majors.
Aguilar was only 17 years old when he signed with the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in November of 2007. After spending seven years in AA or below, Aguilar finally was called up to AAA Columbus and shined on a higher stage. In his first stint with Columbus he batted .298 with seven home runs and 19 RBI’s in 37 games.
After only 37 games with Columbus, Cleveland called up the 24-year old Aguilar on May 15, 2014. After only 8 games with the Indians, Aguilar was sent back to Columbus.
Following his first chance in the big leagues, Aguilar was moved up and down between the big league club and AAA. He continued to flash his potential in the minors (hitting 30 homers and driving in 92 runs last season with Columbus) but was never given a real shot with the Indians, hitting .172 with no home runs in 58 at-bats in the major leagues.
Aguilar is batting .500 with the Cactus Crew this spring, a positive impression that will no doubt be left with Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell. With Eric Thames slotted in as the starting first baseman for the Brewers in 2017, expect Aguilar to stay up as the primary backup first baseman and pinch hitter. Considering Aguilar is out of minor league options, it is unlikely that he is sent to the minors if the Brewers want to hold onto him.
A Thames/Aguilar first base teaming makes for an interesting tandem for Craig Counsell. If Thames struggles against left handed pitching early on, expect Aguilar to play more often on days where the Crew faces off against lefties while Thames will play nearly every day against righties.
Either way, it’s always nice to see a waiver addition find a place with a team, and if the power hitting Aguilar can flash even half of his minor league potential with the Brewers, expect him to hold on in 2017.
Other Brewers News/Notes
Newest Brewers starter Tommy Milone started for the Crew on Sunday, pitching two scoreless innings while allowing only two hits on the day. Milone needs every strong outing he can get as he battles for a spot in the rotation this year.
The Crew took a 1–0 lead on an Hernan Perez solo home run in the second; it was Hernan’s second home run in as many days as he also continues his strong spring so far.
The Rockies tied it up in the fourth with a Trevor Story homer off of Brewers starter Chase Anderson, who went two innings and allowed only the one earned run on the Story home run.
After the fourth inning it was all Brewers; they would outscore the Rockies 8–3 in the last five innings. One notable run was that of newest Cactus Crew member Nick Noonan, who followed the Aguilar homer in the 7th with one of his own.
Hiram Burgos, the one time major prospect for the Crew pitched two innings and allowing another three runs, a worrying sign from a player attempting to restart his career after multiple injuries. Burgos has a 15.75 ERA this spring.
Finally, people’s hero Tim Dillard pitched the ninth, shutting down the Rockies 1–2–3 and striking out a batter in the process. At the age of 33, it is unlikely that Dillard will make the roster. Still, it is nice to see him succeeding in spring training.
With the win, the Cactus Crew move to 4–5 on the spring. The Rockies drop to 5–5.
Next Game: Monday, May 6th @ Cleveland Indians, 2:05 PM