Brewers shortstop, Jonathan Villar, has been nothing short of a revelation. He was supposed to be just a gap shortstop until top prospect, SS Orlando Arcia, made his way up. He was acquired this past off-season from the Astros in exchange for minor league RHP Cy Sneed. Jonathan Villar has been a stud for the Brew Crew this year. Why is no one talking about him? Let’s see just how good Villar has been.
Villar, only 25 years old, is slashing .296/.387/.426 with an OPS of .813, 5 home runs, and a league leading 23 stolen bases. Jonathan has exceptional on-base skills with his .387 OBP. As soon as he gets on first, it’s almost a sure bet he’ll be swiping second. Villar has been hitting around .300 all year and it is far enough into the season to say he is no fluke. He’s challenging pitchers with every aspect of his game. His most underrated tool is his defense. Defensively, Villar makes the plays and is always smooth at short.
FanGraphs states in their post on Villar: “Villar is on pace to hit 13 home runs, steal 60 bases, and bat .292. That’s 2014 Jose Altuve, but more power and less batting average.” That’s a pretty darn good way to look at how well he has been performing. Mentioning Jose Altuve‘s name in the same sentence as Villar’s shows what kind of player he has been. If you would like a more advanced breakdown on his success, I encourage you to read FanGraphs work.
From a fantasy perspective, ESPN fantasy baseball has him ranked as the seventh player in all! Pretty amazing for a huy that was only supposed to be “gap player.”
What makes Villar even more valuable is that not only is he playing All-Star caliber baseball, he’s young (25) and controllable (Brewers control through 2020). David Stearns, Brewers GM, has said time and time again how his main goal is to find young controllable talent and he has found quite a hidden gem in Jonathan. Villar should be a valuable core in the Brewers rebuild by moving positions (probably 3rd) when Arcia comes to take his spot. Let’s all applaud David Stearns for this fantastic find.
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