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Brewers 2016: Jonathan Villar

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Until Orlando Arcia has his day, Jonathan Villar is the Brewers shortstop. Before Villar came to the Brewers, he played shortstop in Houston called up Carlos Correa. Villar finds himself in a similarly scary situation with the Brewers. Villar finds himself in a rebuilding Milwaukee where he will get plenty of playing time at shortstop. Villar saw an overall boost in production last season, and he looks to continue that with the Brewers.

2015 Production 

In 53 games last season with the Astros Jonathan Villar had 375 plate appearances posting a line of .284/.339/.414 collecting 2 HRs 11 and 11 RBIs in 33 hits. Villar received just seven bases and posted a WAR of 0.2. With the Astros bringing up Carlos Correa Villar saw less playing time. However, he managed to improve his contact rate going from a .271 BABIP in 2014 to a .360 BABIP in 2015.  Despite the lack of playing time in Houston, Villars production rose, attributed to the higher contact rate.

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2016 Projections

FanGraphs’ Steamer projects Jonathan Villar to post a line of .239/.301/.364 with 6 Hrs, 34 RBIs and 31 hits in 72 G over 277 PA, while stealing 18 bases and posting a BABIP of .307 and a WAR of 0.2. He’s projected to be as productive next season as he was in the last with Houston, however with Milwaukee Villar will get more playing time at shortstop and the higher BABIP rate will give him better numbers than he saw last season.

Villar turns 25 in May, so there is still plenty of baseball left for the career .236 hitter. While his most productive season came in 2014, he had a lower BABIP rate than last season and then what his BABIP is projected to be this season. With a higher BABIP rate he’s bound to have his most productive season of his career in 2016 and from there the sky is the limit for Jonathan Villar. Even in Arcia were to come up while Villar is on the roster, he has played at both third base and outfield for the Astros making Villar all the more versatile for the Brewers.

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