Yesterday, the Orioles signed First Baseman Jesus Aguilar to a minor league deal, and he has since been selected from AAA. This has been a season to forget for the once promising breakout player. Aguilar has slashed a mere .236/.286/.388 while hitting 15 Home Runs for the Miami Marlins in 2022.
There is no one metric that explains Aguilar’s struggles, but he has a track record that offers hope for a productive September. Across 595 games between 2017 and 2021, Aguilar posted an 814 OPS (114 OPS+) and hit 93 Home Runs, respectable numbers among First Baseman in those five seasons.
The Baltimore Orioles have signed 1B Jesus Aguilar. What will his role be?
Aguilar was likely added to backup Ryan Mountcastle at First Base. Mountcastle slashed .202/.277/.354 in the month of August and has been the only experienced First Baseman on the roster since Trey Mancini was traded at the deadline. Mountcastle was actually outplayed by Aguilar, who hit a .662 OPS in August compared to Mountcastle’s .630 OPS. Additionally, Aguilar’s .686 OPS against RHP this season is the highest among the Orioles’ current bench bats.
The bench is currently a mix of experienced backup Catcher Robinson Chirinos, impactful but inconsistent Outfielder Ryan McKenna, and promising rookies Terrin Vavra and Kyle Stowers. Aguilar is the most experienced bench bat, and is one of the only hitters on the roster to play in the postseason. A veteran presence is always a welcomed addition to a young and hungry team.
Aguilar adds a needed bench bat for the Orioles, while offering a backup First Baseman to give Mountcastle a few more days off. It’s been a rough season for Aguilar, but he offers an upgrade over the current bench hitters.
This is a move that’s sure to fly under the radar, but the signing could pay dividends as the Orioles make their late push to return to the postseason.