Jonathan Villar burst onto the scene for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016. Unfortunately, he was unable to carry that momentum into this season.
One thought that most Brewers fans can agree on, is Villar has been the biggest disappointment this season. After batting .285 with 19 home runs and 62 stolen bases last year, Villar hasn’t come close to matching that production. He’s currently clinging to an everyday role with the team.
He struggled to a .206/.267/.327 batting line in April and has never recovered. The problem with Villar is his inability to get on-base consistently. A lead off hitter needs to get on base more than 28% of the time. He strikes out too much and doesn’t take nearly enough walks. That’s a bad combination.
Villar reportedly turned down a contract extension from the Brewers in the off-season. It is possible that he put too much pressure on himself to open the season. Getting off to such a slow start only snowballed and made things worse. Early in the season, you could almost see Villar pressing too much, resulting in high strikeouts and poor decisions on the base paths.
For his career, Villar has shown he is a legitimate asset to a Major League organization. Coming into this season he was a .261 lifetime hitter with a .336 on base percentage. His 2.68:1 K/BB ratio is not good, but there have been plenty of solid players who were worse.
Exacerbating the situation even more is his poor play in the field. He has committed 14 errors this season at second base for a terrible .964 fielding percentage. Unfortunately, that’s right in line with his career averages. He is still young, so there is plenty of time for him to turn it around.
The Milwaukee Brewers need Villar to recapture his magic from a season ago. Eric Sogard has been a good story this season, but after injuring his ankle, he hasn’t been the same. Villar needs to step up and become a positive piece for this team if they have any hope of making a playoff run.
More than just these five players needs to step up to close this season. For the Milwaukee Brewers to make the playoffs, they will need a total team effort. They will need players we’ve never heard of to step in and get a big hit, or a big out. With only 40 games left, this is shaping up to be an exciting end of the season.