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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Milwaukee Brewers catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, was already one of the hottest names on the trade market and with his return this year to elite status, everyone has an eye on him. The tough question for the Brewers is whether to trade Lucroy or not. Let’s examine the pros and the cons.
Milwaukee’s farm system is already among the best in the league and a Lucroy trade would make it a top 3 farm system with ease. Catchers who rake and field their position well are rare so Lucroy’s value is through the roof. He is currently hitting 316/.372/.539 as of June 6, with 9 bombs and an OPS of .911 after a DREADFUL 2014. The Brew Crew would receive an elite prospect package, adding to the already impressive group of players featuring Orlando Arcia, Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Trent Clark. The Brewers also have the 5th overall pick in the upcoming draft, bolstering the farm even more. Luc’s contract is incredibly team friendly, making him even easier to move. The future is already bright, but with a trade and draft here, it gets even brighter, looking at possible young stars. Lastly, Lucroy has expressed interest in being traded to a winning team.
To Not Trade
Jonathan Lucroy is a fan favorite with the “LUUUUUCCCC,” chants heard every at-bat. It’s hard to give up one of the faces of the franchise that is so well liked. Everyone thought the Brewers were going to be quite dreadful while rebuilding this year, but they’ve actually been playing well. They are working their way back to .500 with only a few games under now. The bullpen has showed it’s elite with the likes of Tyler Thornburg, Blaine Boyer, Will Smith, and the dominance of closer Jeremy Jeffress. Jimmy Nelson is coming into his own and looks like he could be a 1, 2, or 3 for the rotation for years to come. Overall, the rotation has been serviceable other than the liability of Wily Peralta on the mound. Ryan Braun has returned to his old self and is having one of the best years of his career. Hernan Perez keeps hitting his way into the line up and Aaron Hill has heated up since his rough start. Jonathan Villar has been an absolute stud, hitting over .300, leads the league in stolen bases, and plays an exceptional shortstop. Lucroy is a core player and a leader. Finding another catcher like him is almost impossible. He could be vital in developing young pitchers and will be a valuable bat in the line up. With the revelation of Villar and the elite bullpen, the Brewers could become more competitive sooner than people think. Top prospect Orlando Arcia will soon be playing gold glove caliber D at short and hopefully Villar gets moved over to second because his bat has to stay in the line up. A Braun, Phillips, and Domingo Santana outfield could be great. Josh Hader is showing ace flashes featuring an ERA under 1. It’s hard to put a timeline on young prospects like Trent Clark, but let’s say these prospects I’ve talked about make their way up within 3 years, it could make the Brew Crew competitive. Lucroy would be a central piece for the years to come if he can be retained. The Brewers are quietly putting together a solid core that Luc is crucial to.
My Verdict: To Not Trade
I see Luc being too valuable down the road to trade! The Brewers with their solid play this year may convince him to want to stay. He is more valuable to the Brew Crew for the years to come to help anchor a line up as well as help develop up and coming pitchers. He is one of the few “veteran” leaders on the team along with Braun – which also helps sell tickets. This is an incredibly tough decision that David Stearns will have to make. Would I be upset if he was traded and they received a great return? Absolutely not, I can accept their wanting to position the team for the future. Either way, there are positives and negatives to keep Luc. Personally, I would miss him – and so would my sister who cherishes his autograph and catches because of him.
What would you do as GM?
St. Louis is crying again! I am not bashing on Adam at all. He’s a great pitcher who I respect, and yet I’m very jealous of his pitching performances against the Brew Crew. Adam Wainwright struggled in his All-Star start. So, there’s no way it could possibly be his fault…. So….let’s blame Jonathan Lucroy! Why not, right? Yea, that’s right. Cardinal fans unite and cry because supposedly Lucroy caused Wainwright’s struggle. The Cardinal fans have reached an all-time low! Did you know Wainwirght would have had the loss if Lucroy didn’t clutch hit? So it’s not Adam’s fault for pitching poorly?
Wainwright on pitching to Derek Jeter: “I was gonna give him a couple pipe shots. He deserved it. I didn’t know he was gonna hit a double or I might have changed my mind.”
He did later take the comments back, stating they were jokes. Still, read the line above, that doesn’t seem like a joke to me.
Online comments are on fire from Cardinals fans blaming Lucroy. I say, Sour Grapes you crybabies!!! If I didn’t know better, I’d say Tony La Russa is behind this conspiracy……….
Lucroy just called a horrible first inning for Waino. #BlameLucroy
— Scott Stout (@Sstout33) July 16, 2014
Dad & I both agree that Waino needs to catch Lucroy off guard & nail him in the back with a fastball.
— Lauren (@Lo_Kitty_) July 16, 2014
It’s because Yadi isn’t catching #BlameLucroy
— Nick Francis (@TheNickFrancis) July 16, 2014
Lucroy is trying to make Waino look bad
— Mitchell Cain (@CainMitch22) July 16, 2014
Lucroy was tipping pitches to hitters. It was his fault not Wainos
— Daniel Gerth (@TheDanielGerth) July 16, 2014
Seriously man!?!? Who and why would do that?
Good to see Lucroy screw over Waino #averageatbest
— Clay Swanger (@Clay_bay_bay) July 16, 2014
Come on Cardinals fans, have some class!!! Do you honestly believe Lucroy plotted to make Adam Wainwright pitch poorly? Could it really be that Adam just pitched poorly?
Shoot! I just spilled my drink #BlameLucroy.
This rivalry just got a little more heated.
Many know my feelings for dogs… I DON’T LIKE THEM AT ALL!!! I don’t get them. Dogs are a lot of work and chew up your stuff. They always jump on me, bite me, follow me, pee on me, and attack me! One time my cousins brought their dog, Ruby up north in Hayward, Wi where we vacation. Once I saw Ruby come down to the beach I bolted and headed for the baby paddle boat. I was paddling for my life out there on the lake!! Then, Ruby starts to chase me and catches up! The boat flips, I get tossed in the water and I get a nice welt on my noggin…..add that to the injury list. Once at a birthday party, a big dog chased me and I landed butt first in a 5 gallon bucket, stuck like an upside down turtle. So, I’m kind of a “hater” when it comes to dogs, but not afraid to admit it! 😉
But, when you put my passion (baseball) and my dislike for (dogs) together, what happens? I love it!
So, a little adorable stray puppy was wandering around the Brewers Spring Training complex in Maryvale, Arizona. The Brewers adopted this little guy and named him, Hank. Hank has become an unofficial mini mascot for the Brewers and is stealing Milwaukee’s hearts. This cute puppy is starting to change my view on dogs 🙂 ! Am I actually admitting that I’m feeling something “warm and fuzzy” for a dog? Is this a random act of goodwill puppy adoption, or simply a marketing genius, stirring up “warm and fuzzy” fans and generating interest for the upcoming season? Either way, I think I like it……..
Here’s a bunch of awesome photos of Hank:
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Sunday, January 27 was the Brewers fan fest, Brewers on Deck. I got tickets as a Christmas present and have been counting down to this day! Thank you Santa 😉
As soon as I got there, I had the opportunity to meet Telly Hughes, a Brewer T.V. host. He was very kind to me and I gave him one of my business cards. Yes, I created a card with my picture on it and, no, I didn’t photo shop those good looks. After that, straight to the Wily Peralta line. Wily is a huge Brewer pitching prospect and I’m a fan that thinks he will make positive contributions to benefit the team. Wily was a decent guy, but others I met were amazing! My dad and I waited in line for Brewer’s catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, for nearly 2 hours. Finally, I met him and gave him a card-something about a card says, “Hey, I’m Legit.” He seemed genuinely interested in my blog. My twin, Sophie, is a catcher and probably his biggest fan, so I had him address an autograph to Sophie. When I gave it to her at home she was screaming super happily! Jonathan was great! He took time to speak to me and truly listened rather then just blowing me off.
So, I’m walking around, “Holy Crap Dad, there’s Marco Estrada walking this way!” I ran up to him all excited! I definitely didn’t ask for an autograph because his ushers would’ve had a fit like last year. He listened to everything I said and He told me that he will definitely check out my blog! Many other Brewers told me this, but he seemed the most sincere. I’m not saying the others weren’t sincere, but he really seemed like he was fascinated by a 12 year old kid that likes baseball and writing. I felt the same way about the bullpen catcher, Marcus Hanel. I talked to him for like ten minutes! He is also from my hometown, so we were talking about home and what’s going on. Turns out I go to school with his niece. Lucky her, I’m just sayin….. He also accepted a card and just became the coolest and nicest guy from my town that I know of!
The day was wrapping up and I went over to the free autographs and pictures area. I believe prospects are kinder and more humble because they have less of an ego since they aren’t MLB stars yet. “SHOUT OUT!” to #4 first-base prospect Hunter Morris, Kentrail Davis, Jim Henderson and Johnny Hellweg. Those are some great guys! They didn’t have many people in line waiting so I could just take time talking with them.
Thank you to the many Brewer players who gladly accepted my card and are reading this now-I would love the opportunity to interview and feature any of these players. I appreciate your support. I ‘can’t wait for next year! What a blast! I can smell OPENING DAY !!!!
Hunter Morris and me!
My picture of Lucroy and I wasn’t loading or working correctly..sorry. I’ll try to fix it soon.
Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers got a “boxer’s fracture” from a freak accident in his hotel room. Jonathan was reaching under his bed for a lost sock and his wife moved a suitcase which fell on his hand causing a fracture. Lucroy needs surgery on his hand. He will miss up to six weeks. This is going to kill the injury plagued Brewers. He was putting up huge numbers and looking like an all-star.
Lucroy’s wife, Sarah is getting harrassed and threatened by some Brewer fans via Facebook. “It’s been a battle for me, personally, because there’s no one to blame, and my wife is getting killed by this,” Lucroy said. “It’s not like she’s not hurt enough already, not feeling guilty enough already. I really wish people would just leave her alone, leave us alone, just let us try to move forward, and get this behind us, because this has been a brutal couple of days.”
I can’t believe people would be so cruel about what happened. This is obviously an accident. Stop harassing Sarah!!! and remember that baseball is just a game and accidents happen. (Lucroy, way to stand up and support your wife!!!! You’re an All Star already!!)
2011 was certainly the biggest free agent year ever. Millions and millions of dollars were spent. Teams need to remember that one player may sell lots of tickets, but it doesn’t guarantee you a winning season. The question is, are these players worth all the money?
Albert Pujols Contract: 10-year $250 million
Albert Pujols Stats (as of 5-19-12): H: 34 HR: 3 RBI: 18 AVG: .215
Not Worth It!!! Albert has been slumping all season so far. He has hit 30 or more home runs in every season of his 11 years in the bigs. Angel fans must be starting to worry about this mega deal and all of the money that is being burned. Could this be a start of a declining career for Albert?
Prince Fielder Contract: 10-year, $214 million
Prince Fielder (as of 5-19-12): H: 46 HR: 7 RBI: 24 AVG: .303
SO SO…Prince has been pretty sub-par this year. Not horrible, but not outstanding. I think that he’ll heat up as the year goes by and gets into a groove.
Rickie Weeks Contract: 4-year, $38.5 million
Rickie Weeks Stats (as of 5-19-12): H:22 HR: 4 RBI: 7 AVG: .154
HORRIBLE!!!!!!!! I don’t get why on Earth the Brewers are paying him this much money. He’s never been a great player. Weeks is also injury prone and whenever he has a good year going, he gets injured. I’m sick of watching him strike out over and over again. Furthermore, his defense is questionable. He can make a play look fantastic, but only when the ball comes right to him.
Jonathan Lucroy Contract: H: 38 HR: 2 RBI: 20 AVG: .330
Jonathan Lucroy Stats (as of 5-19-12): 5-year $11 million
BARGAIN!!!!!! Jonathan Lucroy is a monster!!!!! You can always depend on him for a clutch hit and great defense. A star in the making. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the All-Star game this year. The good thing is that the Brewers locked him up for a while and he was very cheap.