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Aguilar boosts NL Final Vote candidacy

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers fans delivered Geoff Jenkins to the All-Star Game in 2003 via the Final Vote, and did the same for Corey Hart in '08. A decade later, can they do it again for slugging first baseman Jesus Aguilar?

VOTE Jesus: 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers fans delivered Geoff Jenkins to the All-Star Game in 2003 via the Final Vote, and did the same for Corey Hart in '08. A decade later, can they do it again for slugging first baseman Jesus Aguilar?

VOTE Jesus: 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote

On the same day Aguilar smashed two more home runs in the Brewers' 10-3 win over the Braves, he was named one of five candidates for the National League's final roster spot. Aguilar needs votes via the 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote. Balloting is also live via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps until 3 p.m. CT Wednesday.

The other candidates are Brandon Belt of the Giants, Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals, Max Muncy of the Dodgers and Trea Turner of the host Nationals.

"You look at the pure numbers, and Jesus deserves to be an All-Star. I don't think there's anyone in baseball who would argue with that," said Brewers general manager David Stearns, who plucked Aguilar off waivers from the Indians just before the start of Spring Training two years ago. "[First base] is a very good position in the National League, and through no fault of his own, he had a late start compared to some of his competitors. You look at the numbers and it's tough to say that guy is not an All-Star."

Tweet from @AdamMcCalvy: On the Braves TV broadcast after @JAguilarMKE hit home run No. 21: "If this guy doesn't make the All-Star team, they shouldn't play it!"

The numbers are gaudy, especially considering Aguilar was on the Brewers' roster bubble at the end of Spring Training, began the season as their third-string first baseman, did not hit his first home run until April 21 and did not start back-to-back games until May 1-2.

Now, including his two-homer afternoon against Atlanta on Sunday, Aguilar is tied with the Rockies' Nolan Arenado for the NL lead with 22 home runs and second among qualified NL hitters to the Reds' Eugenio Suarez with 160 Weighted Runs Created Plus and a .414 Weighted On-base Average -- two of the most complete measures of offensive production.

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Arenado and Suarez are All-Stars. Aguilar needs help.

"That's something I don't control. It's not me," Aguilar said. "I've just got to go up there and play the right way." 

The Brewers are on the road in Miami beginning Monday, so they will not have the benefit of promoting his candidacy in home games. But club officials were already planning a media and community blitz on Sunday, including a partnership with the Twins and American League Final Vote candidate Eddie Rosario.

Aguilar's teammates didn't wait for the official campaign to begin. They have been promoting Aguilar's All-Star candidacy in interviews for weeks now, and recently began wearing T-shirts that say, "We believe in Jesus."

"Look, he's having an MVP season. He really is," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's having an incredible season. He's [tied for the league lead] in home runs now. I mean, he's certainly in the top five of offensive seasons in the National League right now. He's been brilliant, man. He's hitting in the middle of the order, he's driving in runs. He's a tough at-bat. Big spots, walk-off homers. Offensively, he's done it all."

Tweet from @AdamMcCalvy: Brewers��� @JAguilarMKE is 28 today. He���s fun, in case you haven���t noticed. pic.twitter.com/KiQGBxo82O

The Final Vote is not fans' only way to weigh in. On Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Jesus Aguilar