After originally joining the Miami Marlins as a waiver claim, Jesús Aguilar has become the heart and soul of this team.
In 2021, Aguilar had himself a very productive season as he had a .261 BA, .329 OBP, .459 SLG, .788 OPS, 22 HR, 93 RBI, and 117 H. He posted his lowest career strikeout rate as a big league regular and cut down on ground balls as well (super important for such a slow runner). Aguilar was in the mix to lead the National League in RBI before sitting out down the stretch due to a knee injury.
This will be Aguilar’s 8th MLB season (3rd with the Marlins) and this can be a crucial one as he is on the verge of free agency. His precise salary for 2022 still hasn’t been determined—the Marlins filed for $7.00 million while he requested $7.75 million, so they will go to an arbitration hearing.
Aguilar and Garrett Cooper will both see close to everyday playing time rotating between first base and designated hitter. Aguilar batted mostly in the 3rd spot in the lineup last season, but will likely get pushed down a bit following the additions of Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler. For most of his starts in spring training, Agui has been 5th in the batting order.
Turning 32 in the middle of the season, it would not be shocking to see Jesús Aguilar traded before the July deadline. That would open up playing time for Lewin Díaz, who is a superior defender with similar power potential (and he would be a lot cheaper for the Marlins).
In the meantime, expect Aguilar to be one of the best hitters on the Marlins, providing the offensive spark they need to hang around the postseason race.
Over/Under 22.5 home runs for Jesús Aguilar this season?
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