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(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

MLB’s One-Season Wonders: Jesus Aguilar and 2018

(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

MLB’s One-Season Wonders: Jesus Aguilar and 2018

Yes, a current player could, in fact, be a one-season wonder! 32-year-old first baseman Jesus Aguilar currently plays for the Oakland A’s. He is a journeyman who’s featured for quite a few teams during his time. However, one season stands tall above the others: Aguilar’s 2018 Brewers campaign.

Before 2018

Cleveland signed Aguilar initially as an amateur free agent in 2007. He rose up the ranks yet found himself not getting much playing time in MLB. The Indians had an established first baseman with Carlos Santana and DH Mike Napoli. This kept Aguilar primarily in Triple-A, yet he played well.

Ample play finally came for Jesus in 2017, when the Milwaukee Brewers claimed him off waivers. He had a solid year slashing .265/.331/.505 with 16 home runs in 311 plate appearances. Aguilar was arguably the most effective Brewers bench player that entire season. Then, along came 2018.


Everything fell into place for Aguilar in 2018. An injury to starting first baseman Eric Thames early in the season swung the door wide open for Aguilar. He took this opportunity and ran with it. With a blistering first half, he earned an All-Star Game appearance as well as a trip to the Home Run Derby.

Aguilar ended the season with career-highs in all major offensive categories. He batted .274/.352/.539 with 35 home runs and 108 runs batted in. Aguilar also had an OPS+ of 135. The home run total ranked him fifth in the NL, and he was also fourth in runs batted in. He placed 16th in MVP voting.

After 2018

An extremely bad start to 2019 left the Brewers no choice but to trade Aguilar to the Rays for Jake Faria. His struggles continued, finding his way to the Miami Marlins organization. He did have a solid 2021 season hitting 22 home runs, but this was the only remnant of the 2018 season he displayed.

The Marlins then designated him for assignment after a terrible start to 2022. The Orioles picked him up, yet subpar numbers hindered his playing time.

Between 2018 through last season, he slashed .249/.316/.417 with a combined 58 home runs and a below-average OPS+ of 98. As Jesus Aguilar is only 32, he has time to rebound especially with a new contract with the Athletics. However, I believe he will never return to his 2018 prowess.


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