Slugger Aguilar has taken advantage of opportunity with Brewers

Jesus Aguilar has been a revelation for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Despite putting up good numbers in the minor leagues, including hitting 30 home runs in Triple-A in 2016, Aguilar never got much of a chance with Cleveland, appearing in just 35 games with 64 plate appearances from 2014-16.

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Picked up off waivers by the Brewers in February 2017, Aguilar, who had no minor-league options remaining, was a longshot to make the big-league club out of spring training, but he did just that and proceeded to slash .265/.331/.505 in 133 games last season as a part-time first baseman and pinch hitter.

With fellow first baseman Eric Thames shelved for much of this season with an injury, Aguilar has gotten a bigger opportunity in 2018 — and he’s taken advantage.

He’s already compiled 215 plate appearances in 63 games — he had just 311 PA in 2017 — and is hitting .298/.363/.580 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI. Aguilar has been even better when he starts. In 46 games as a starter, he’s hitting .301/.360/.590.

And when Aguilar is hitting well, good things usually happen for Milwaukee.

In the 39 games he’s played in which the Brewers have won this season, Aguilar has a slash line of .355/.429/.766 — we’ll save you the math; that’s an amazing OPS of 1.195 – with 12 home runs and 39 RBI.

Aguilar’s slugging percentage in Milwaukee’s victories this month is an astronomical 1.182, third-best in the majors in that category in June (min. 15 at-bats).

Overall in June, Aguilar is hitting .275/.321/.647, but since June 2 (he went 0-for-5 on June 1), he’s batting .304 with a .717 slugging percentage. Additionally, he’s homered in his last three starts.

Needless to say, Aguilar’s spot on the roster is pretty secure these days.

Other notes:

Lorenzo Cain is walking at an unprecedented rate. His 42 walks through 70 games are easily the most in any of his previous major-league seasons (last year had 30 in his first 70 games; he never had more than 21 before that). Cain’s walk percentage is at 13.9 percent this season. He had a career-high 8.4 percent rate in 2017 and had over a 7 percent rate just two other times in his first seven major-league seasons.

Brent Suter had gone at least five innings in 16 consecutive starts. Only three other National League pitchers have had longer such streaks, although he’s just a little far from the leader, San Francisco’s Madison Bumgardner, who has 84. Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks is next with 23 and Arizona’s Patrick Corbin has 18 in a row.

— In his past six starts, Suter is 5-1 with a 3.24 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.

— Milwaukee has a 3.41 ERA and .221 opponent batting average in June, both of which rank third among NL teams in the month.

Statistics courtesy STATS and baseball-reference