StaTuesday: Brewers’ Aguilar thriving with two strikes

Getting Milwaukee Brewers slugger Jesus Aguilar to two strikes isn’t exactly cause for celebration.

Miami Marlins pitcher Junichi Tazawa learned this back in April, when Aguilar turned a two-strike count into a 7-minute marathon, fouling off seven pitches and turning the 13th into a walk-off home run.

It was Aguilar’s first home run of the season, and while it took him 17 games and 31 at-bats to get that first one, it turned out to be a sign of things to come.

Aguilar went on to hit .298/.373/.621 with 24 home runs in the first half, a stretch that earned him enough popular support (#WeBelieveInJesus) for a spot in the All-Star Game.

He’s hitting .283/.368/.576 with 29 home runs following a post-ASG slump, and has continued to excel in two-strike situations.

Aguilar has homered with a two-strike count 16 times season, third in the league behind New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez.

Aguilar is hitting .261/.331/.504 and 57 RBI in 234 such at-bats this season. That last figure is significant: It’s tops in the majors by a significant margin, and a Brewers record.

Player G RBI AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Jesus Aguilar 103 57 234 25 61 9 0 16 26 106 0.261 0.331 0.504 0.835
Nolan Arenado 112 39 236 32 59 12 1 13 22 91 0.25 0.315 0.475 0.79
Nick Markakis 116 39 228 28 60 14 1 7 25 61 0.263 0.333 0.425 0.759
Xander Bogaerts 99 39 221 22 50 20 2 6 16 76 0.226 0.286 0.416 0.703
Giancarlo Stanton 119 38 286 31 55 11 0 17 30 160 0.192 0.269 0.409 0.678
Rhys Hoskins 109 38 260 36 55 11 0 13 27 114 0.212 0.292 0.404 0.696
Jose Ramirez 112 37 236 29 58 9 2 17 39 58 0.246 0.362 0.517 0.879
J.D. Martinez 116 34 252 35 49 9 0 13 24 119 0.194 0.264 0.385 0.649
Eddie Rosario 118 34 259 32 58 14 2 8 5 94 0.224 0.238 0.386 0.624
Mike Moustakas 113 33 203 25 38 7 0 11 14 75 0.187 0.243 0.384 0.627
Eugenio Suarez 101 33 217 23 43 6 1 10 26 106 0.198 0.289 0.373 0.662
Mitch Haniger 119 32 235 22 48 11 1 4 35 116 0.204 0.313 0.311 0.624
Freddie Freeman 112 31 232 36 60 13 1 9 25 98 0.259 0.337 0.44 0.777
Rafael Devers 94 31 205 19 39 10 0 8 14 105 0.19 0.241 0.356 0.597
Jose Martinez 105 31 209 14 45 12 0 4 17 69 0.215 0.274 0.33 0.604

The 28-year-old slugger is already just the second Brewers player to rack up 50 two-strike RBI in a single season, and he’s still going. Prince Fielder had 50 RBI in 294 such at-bats.

Player Year G RBI AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Jesus Aguilar 2018 103 57 234 25 61 9 0 16 26 106 0.261 0.331 0.504 0.835
Prince Fielder 2009 149 50 294 34 58 11 0 17 29 138 0.197 0.269 0.408 0.677
Ryan Braun 2008 142 49 298 41 67 15 4 18 16 129 0.225 0.263 0.483 0.747
Prince Fielder 2007 148 47 282 46 58 13 1 23 30 121 0.206 0.285 0.504 0.788
Richie Sexson 2003 153 47 305 33 49 11 1 14 50 151 0.161 0.285 0.341 0.626
Richie Sexson 2001 148 45 314 36 60 10 0 18 32 178 0.191 0.268 0.395 0.663
John Jaha 1996 138 45 265 40 55 10 0 11 42 114 0.208 0.317 0.37 0.687
Ryan Braun 2012 145 43 297 31 74 17 2 14 24 128 0.249 0.309 0.461 0.77
Ryan Braun 2009 148 42 310 42 70 17 3 11 14 121 0.226 0.275 0.406 0.681
Casey McGehee 2010 143 41 274 23 69 14 1 10 22 102 0.252 0.303 0.42 0.723
Dave Nilsson 1997 134 39 245 26 54 12 0 10 16 82 0.22 0.268 0.392 0.66
Ryan Braun 2010 141 39 280 33 64 16 1 6 27 105 0.229 0.297 0.357 0.654
Bill Hall 2006 142 38 315 41 53 15 3 15 37 162 0.168 0.255 0.378 0.633
Jeromy Burnitz 1998 153 37 328 37 58 14 1 13 29 158 0.177 0.246 0.345 0.59
Prince Fielder 2011 144 36 257 27 64 18 0 11 35 106 0.249 0.347 0.447 0.794

That’s good enough for eighth since 1908. Two more would get him into sixth, and just 13 more two-strike RBI would tie the single-season mark set by Manny Ramirez (then with Cleveland) in 1999.

Player Year G RBI AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Manny Ramirez 1999 140 70 282 40 71 13 2 21 46 131 0.252 0.363 0.535 0.899
Todd Helton 2000 145 66 270 48 92 24 2 13 27 61 0.341 0.397 0.589 0.986
Ken Griffey Jr. 1997 139 63 269 42 63 15 0 23 23 116 0.234 0.293 0.546 0.839
Sammy Sosa 2001 153 62 295 45 72 13 3 21 38 153 0.244 0.327 0.522 0.849
Carlos Delgado 2000 154 61 287 43 79 19 0 19 47 104 0.275 0.389 0.54 0.929
Jason Giambi 2000 146 58 258 33 71 10 0 16 51 96 0.275 0.398 0.5 0.898
Albert Pujols 2001 149 58 313 38 84 20 2 17 26 93 0.268 0.328 0.508 0.836
Jesus Aguilar 2018 103 57 234 25 61 9 0 16 26 106 0.261 0.331 0.504 0.835
Ryan Howard 2006 149 57 328 38 79 7 0 23 41 181 0.241 0.327 0.473 0.8
Manny Ramirez 1998 144 57 296 42 71 9 2 17 34 121 0.24 0.321 0.456 0.778
Ken Griffey Jr. 1998 151 56 305 39 57 13 1 20 30 121 0.187 0.266 0.433 0.699
Jose Canseco 1988 150 56 306 38 79 12 0 17 35 127 0.258 0.34 0.464 0.804
Sammy Sosa 2000 150 55 325 38 72 14 1 20 47 168 0.222 0.318 0.455 0.774
Curtis Granderson 2011 152 55 354 53 68 10 2 20 54 169 0.192 0.303 0.401 0.704
Ryan Howard 2007 132 55 319 41 47 9 0 20 32 199 0.147 0.228 0.364 0.592