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Top seed Aguilar eliminated by Hoskins in Derby

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

WASHINGTON -- The top seed in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby took a simple plan into his first All-Star experience and may have come away with a lesson learned.

"We're going to try to put on a good show there," said slugger Jesus Aguilar prior to the event. "It's all about a show."

WASHINGTON -- The top seed in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby took a simple plan into his first All-Star experience and may have come away with a lesson learned.

"We're going to try to put on a good show there," said slugger Jesus Aguilar prior to the event. "It's all about a show."

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What would constitute a good show in this context? "People want to see homers," he deadpanned. "So we'll try to do it."

Aguilar did it to the tune of 12 home runs in the opening round, falling to Philadelphia's Rhys Hoskins in the first upset of a night that ended with hometown star Bryce Harper hoisting the champion's trophy at Nationals Park.

Aguilar entered as the top seed by virtue of his National League-leading 24 home runs, with Hoskins at No. 8 with 14. Hoskins went first and set a quick pace that Aguilar and his pitcher, Brewers first-base coach Carlos Subero, couldn't match in the timed event. Working at a slower tempo, Aguilar homered on his third and fourth swings, but he was stuck on seven home runs when he took a timeout with one minute and 34 seconds to go.

By rule, the previous hit has to land before the next can take flight, but Subero thought he and Aguilar could have been quicker.

"I was trying to signal to him to pick up the pace," said Subero. "I tried to take time out, but he wanted to keep going. When we got time out, that's what [Royals All-Star and fellow Venezuelan] Salvador Perez went over to tell him. As soon as that ball lands, we have to be set, ready to go. All of a sudden, we were against the wall."

Chalk it up to experience, said Subero, who hopes that the 28-year-old Aguilar gets a chance to participate again someday.

"Like I told him, you've just got to enjoy the experience," Subero said.

Aguilar was the 10th member of the Brewers to take part in the Home Run Derby, and the first since Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder in 2011. Fielder participated three times, winning in 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Entering the event, Aguilar said, "I'm just going to try to hit the ball to center field. So many people talked to me about it, and I don't want to do something extra. I don't want to do something that's going to affect you mechanically. I'm going to try to hit the ball to center field, and let's see if that happens."

This All-Star Game presented by Mastercard is a sort of coming-out party for Aguilar, whom the Brewers plucked off waivers from the Indians just before the start of 2017 Spring Training, and now finds himself an All-Star. It was his prodigious home run pace that put him on the baseball map. He didn't hit his first of this season until April 21 -- an epic, 13-pitch, walk-off shot against the Marlins at Miller Park.

Aguilar wasn't among the Brewers' initial All-Stars but made a list of five NL players up for the Final Vote. He won with 20.2 million votes after a furious campaign by teammates and club officials to make his case.

That required a barrage of media appearances in English, Aguilar's improving second language. He was among the NL's most popular players at Monday's All-Star media day, answering questions in English and Spanish for nearly an hour, then taking part in a Home Run Derby news conference and getting laughs with his straightforward plan for the event.

"He's an outgoing person when he's called to be outgoing," said Subero. "I was at an event with him and a bunch of kids, and it was 'Agui' making everybody laugh. He's contagious."

He's also been productive. Among Major Leaguers with at least 100 plate appearances, he is sixth with a .414 weighted on-base average and a .995 OPS.

"The guy's been unbelievable. He's pretty much carrying our team," said fellow All-Star Lorenzo Cain. "That's why I'm trying to get on base as much as possible for him. We definitely need him in the second half as well, because we know it's not going to get any easier as the season winds down."

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