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BlueJaysIn2030

Jonathan Villar 2018 Outlook

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OK, so last year was a huge disappointment. He looked absolutely lost at the plate, and ended up losing a good chunk of playing time (I think at one point in September he was playing like every other game).

 

Steamer puts him at a healthy 563PA with 15HR, 70R, 54RBI, 34SB, and a slash line of .250/.324/.400. They also peg his K% at 26.9 and BB% at 9.5.

 

Now, in the first mock I was able to get him in round 11, which is likely too early... But I had no idea what people were thinking. I see in the second mock that @taobball took him in round 15, which feels like a safe spot for him (round 13-15 for me).

 

A lot of people are going to go after his inflated 2016 BABIP (.373), but I think there's a lot more to him than luck. In 2016 his K% and BB% were 25.6 and 11.6 respectively, and he had an OBP of .369 compared to .293 last year. 

 

His O-Swing was 29.5%, with a contact rate of only 58.3% (interestingly enough, he had a higher outside zone contact rate last year than in 2016). He was swinging at more pitches (47.4% vs 43% in 2016), making less contact (71.1% vs 75.2%) and his SwStr% rose (13.7% vs 10.6%).

 

Throw in his poor defence (although by Def rating he improved) and all the sudden you have a dude on the outside looking in.

 

I forgot that he had a back injury, and he was obviously far less selective with his pitches in 2017. If you can get this guy in round 13-15 you should do it... The chance for 10+HR and 40+SB is there, even if the BA isn't great. The manager has said that the job is essentially Villar's unless he screws up.

 

Fangraphs posted a great article yesterday (https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/jonathan-villar-a-tale-of-two-seasons/) discussing what happened to Villar.

 

Villar Recent Stats
Season Team Age G PA HR SB AVG OBP SLG ISO
2013 Astros 22 58 241 1 18 .243 .321 .319 .076
2014 Astros 23 87 289 7 17 .209 .267 .354 .144
2015 Astros 24 53 128 2 7 .284 .339 .414 .129
2016 Brewers 25 156 679 19 62 .285 .369 .457 .171
2017 Brewers 26 122 436 11 23 .241 .293 .372 .132
2018 Steamer 27 130 563 15 34 .250 .324 .399 .149

Of all the values which changed his value from 2016 to 2017 was the 76-percentage point drop in OBP. Less times on base meant fewer steals and runs scored. An OBP under .300 is kill for any hitter.

 

More Villar Stats
Season GB% HR/FB Pull% BB% K% Swg% Contact% AVG EV Sprint Speed
2014 51.0% 13.5% 34.0% 6.6% 27.7% 46.0% 70.1%    
2015 58.0% 10.0% 44.9% 7.8% 22.7% 46.2% 77.0% 89.5 27.3
2016 56.0% 19.6% 32.3% 11.6% 25.6% 42.8% 75.0% 87.7 27.7
2017 57.0% 19.0% 39.1% 6.9% 30.3% 47.5% 71.3% 86.7 27.6

His plate discipline is the biggest discrepancy over the past two season seasons with his K%-BB% jumping from 14% to 23%. Even though he maintained similar power and groundball rates, the overall decline in contact rate while swinging more did him in.

 

He did have a major back injury in 2017 which cost him 18 days on the DL during June. To see if the injury affected him, here are some of the core stats before and after the injury.

 
 
Pre & Post-Injury Stats
  GB% HR/FB Pull% BB% K% Swg% Contact%
Before Injury 62.3% 19.4% 43.3% 8.9% 30.6% 46.6% 72.3%
After Injury 51.3% 18.5% 33.9% 4.3% 29.8% 48.5% 69.4%

While the plate discipline stats which caused his 2017 demise weren’t great before the injury, they tanked after it, especially his walk rate.

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Thank you for this Jays, I was lucky that Villar didn't cost me a title last year and i remain very intrigued with him going into 2018. Being able to take him in round 15 with an upside of 40+ steals is exciting, i will most likely be dipping back into the Villar well this year. 

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51 minutes ago, Low and Away said:

How does a back injury tank your walk rate? 

I'm going to go ahead an assume you've never really badly hurt your back.  If not, you wouldn't have asked this.

 

Now while it may or may not have contributed, it's not unfathomable to believe the two could possibly correlate with one other.

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So how does it affect it?  Your explanation left  a little to be desired.

 

Can see your k% going up as your swing gets worse but will assume a walk rate would be more correlated with plate discipline.

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28 minutes ago, Low and Away said:

So how does it affect it?  Your explanation left  a little to be desired.

 

Can see your k% going up as your swing gets worse but will assume a walk rate would be more correlated with plate discipline.

People challenge you more, you can't do anything, they throw fewer balls, you press swing more trying to overcompensate. 

I don't know if all the stats bear this out but the concept is plausible. 

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I am not smart enough to explain kinesiology or sports injuries to you.  That said, a back injury can affect one's movement and cause pain... which could affect one's swing.  And if it affected his swing, it could hinder his ability to get to or even swing at some pitches that he was able to get to prior to injury.  

 

His plate recognition has always been terrible.  As I said earlier, it may or may not have anything to do with the back injury.  But it's not impossible to discount the relation between the two as well.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Low and Away said:

How does a back injury tank your walk rate? 

Changes your approach to pitches coming at you. You might be swinging at a pitch in zone and be missing it because the back injury has you a step back. So, as a 25 year old, you start hacking away at pitches outside in hopes of hitting them.

 

Put two and two together here. You can do it.

 

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1 hour ago, AnonymousRob said:

People challenge you more, you can't do anything, they throw fewer balls, you press swing more trying to overcompensate. 

I don't know if all the stats bear this out but the concept is plausible. 

I think it's incredible likely with a 25 year old who has poor plate discipline.

 

Also, to @The Big Bat Theory: in the article it says the manager has basically said its his job to lose.

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1 hour ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Will he even have a starting job next season?

Thats kind of the question for me, does this guy have a job?  If so, his counting stats even in a "decent" year I think are OK, it if he doesnt play thats the issue

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1 hour ago, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

Changes your approach to pitches coming at you. You might be swinging at a pitch in zone and be missing it because the back injury has you a step back. So, as a 25 year old, you start hacking away at pitches outside in hopes of hitting them.

 

Put two and two together here. You can do it.

 

Still doesn't make sense.  Not swinging at borderline pitches shouldn't tank your walk %. If the pitch is in the zone wouldn't that be a strike anyway?

 

Might be different in Canada , eh?

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1 hour ago, Low and Away said:

Still doesn't make sense.  Not swinging at borderline pitches shouldn't tank your walk %. If the pitch is in the zone wouldn't that be a strike anyway?

 

Might be different in Canada , eh?

Again, easy answer:

 

Your back is messed up, and pitches you normally hit aren't landing.

To make up for it, you start swinging at pitches outside the zone that you would normally take for a ball.

 

Get it yet? If not, don't worry about it and find something to contribute. Please.

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8 minutes ago, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

Again, easy answer:

 

Your back is messed up, and pitches you normally hit aren't landing.

To make up for it, you start swinging at pitches outside the zone that you would normally take for a ball.

 

Get it yet? If not, don't worry about it and find something to contribute. Please.

So then it comes down to plate discipline.

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1 minute ago, Low and Away said:

So then it comes down to plate discipline.

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It literally says it in the article.

 

While the plate discipline stats which caused his 2017 demise weren’t great before the injury, they tanked after it, especially his walk rate.

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18 hours ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Will he even have a starting job next season?

did you read the article? and if you can snag him in the 15th round it should be a steal, haha steal.

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20 hours ago, Fuzzy_Slippers said:

Passing on Villar this year. 

 

 

Why? If he is sitting there in the 15th-16th rounds and you could have him as a bench player to insert for speed if needed, you'd pass? I don't understand with speed being in demand so much, a guy that has a 50 sb season under his belt would hold value that late in drafts. 

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Just now, South Jersey Bombers said:

did you read the article? and if you can snag him in the 15th round it should be a steal, haha steal.

 

Except that the Brewers may still go out and get a 2B before opening day.  Also Villar was horrible last year.  Add to that the fact that he is said to be a real pain to deal with in real life and I doubt it is a given it has 2B locked.

 

And yes I read the article linked to Fangraphs. 

 

Quote

CRAIG COUNSELL: Well, I think we’re in a really good place at second base. Because I think we have very good options and I think there’s also a lot of — but at the same time there’s obviously players available at second base. So I thought Neil [Walker], how Neil played last year for us was pretty significant. He played very well for us the last month of the season. He made a big impact on us. I think he was a, really, balance to our lineup. The little bit of versatility helped as well in some spots.

 

Jonathan, he had a tough year. Guys have tough years. He has a really big year under his belt, too. So that leaves us at “we’ll see.” I think he’s got something to prove certainly, you can’t say you know exactly what to expect, but I know that that season that he had in 2016 was a season that certainly earned him the second-base job.

 

Below is Fangraphs guy right after that: 

 

Reading between the lines, it seems like the Brewers are going to give Villar the opportunity to keep the job but if he struggles again, they’ll move on. I understand their thought process. They could really use the 3 WAR he generated in 2016 to make the playoffs. I think he has around two months and then the team will look for other options if he is hitting like 2017.

 

What I see "reading between the lines"  is that the Brewers are still interested in re-signing Neil Walker or getting someone like him and that it is the Fangraphs guy doing the reading and "assuming" that Villar gets the first chance at 2B for some unknown reason.  Counsell was talking about two seasons ago.  Not what was going to happen this season and he seemed wide open to several possibilities at 2B.  One could be that Villar earns the positions this spring.  But Cousell also feels there may be other options available as well.

 

At any rate it certainly wasn't a concrete endorsement.  Some "set in stone" thing.  It was diplomatic manager-speak saying that he doesn't know who is going to end up starting at 2B come Opening Day.  That Villar earned a chance to be in the mix based on 2016 but no guarantees.

 

The "we'll see" was Counsell's bottom line above in other words.

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Just now, The Big Bat Theory said:

 

Except that the Brewers may still go out and get a 2B before opening day.  Also Villar was horrible last year.  Add to that the fact that he is said to be a real pain to deal with in real life and I doubt it is a given it has 2B locked.

 

And yes I read the article linked to Fangraphs. 

 

 

What I see "reading between the lines"  is that the Brewers are still interested in re-signing Neil Walker or getting someone like him and that it is the Fangraphs guy doing the reading and "assuming" that Villar gets the first chance at 2B for some unknown reason.  Counsell was talking about two seasons ago.  Not what was going to happen this season and he seemed wide open to several possibilities at 2B.  One could be that Villar earns the positions this spring.  But Cousell also feels there may be other options available as well.

 

At any rate it certainly wasn't a concrete endorsement.  Some "set in stone" thing.  It was diplomatic manager-speak saying that he doesn't know who is going to end up starting at 2B come Opening Day.  That Villar earned a chance to be in the mix based on 2016 but no guarantees.

 

The "we'll see" was Counsell's bottom line above in other words.

 

 

Agree with all of that, but the guy is useful. And the time to go get a 2nd basemen is dwindling down. If they choose to not upgrade at the position Villar will be useful, and possibly a real help for most teams in the SB department. 

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1 hour ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

 

Except that the Brewers may still go out and get a 2B before opening day.  Also Villar was horrible last year.  Add to that the fact that he is said to be a real pain to deal with in real life and I doubt it is a given it has 2B locked.

 

And yes I read the article linked to Fangraphs. 

 

 

What I see "reading between the lines"  is that the Brewers are still interested in re-signing Neil Walker or getting someone like him and that it is the Fangraphs guy doing the reading and "assuming" that Villar gets the first chance at 2B for some unknown reason.  Counsell was talking about two seasons ago.  Not what was going to happen this season and he seemed wide open to several possibilities at 2B.  One could be that Villar earns the positions this spring.  But Cousell also feels there may be other options available as well.

 

At any rate it certainly wasn't a concrete endorsement.  Some "set in stone" thing.  It was diplomatic manager-speak saying that he doesn't know who is going to end up starting at 2B come Opening Day.  That Villar earned a chance to be in the mix based on 2016 but no guarantees.

 

The "we'll see" was Counsell's bottom line above in other words.

Right, and obviously when draft day comes we'll know if he's the FT player. I'm of the opinion that they let the 26 year Villar do his thing to start the year, and go from there. Yeah, his 2017 season was pretty damn bad, but he's earned the chance, imo.

 

So right now, if we assume that he's going to be starting, I think round 13-15 is great value for some upside. If the manager doesn't confirm/deny naything, then I'll be hesitant. But I'm basing my expectations on him playing as a starter, and I think the conversation should be based around that. Speculating on how he would do with less ABs is pointless, really... The end result is simply: "Don't draft him as a part time player." But if we talk about it under the assumption he's starting every game, then we can get into a discussion about what he can do for your team.

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I'm of the opinion they're going to bring back Walker or somehow land another starting second baseman, but until that actually happens there's no other realistic conclusion we can come to besides Villar will be given every shot to win the job. 

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Mauricio Dubon is someone to watch on the farm. I know the regime prior to Dombrowski was very high on him then DD shipped him to Mil in the Thornburg package. He most likely projects to be a good UTL player but could make a run at 2B if Villar struggles.

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Not more than a flyer you can afford to drop in later April if it is not working out. He's just a dreadful real life player, which will surely lead to him losing ABs. Dubon is right behind him in the minors with a similar skill set, so he is an option. Sogard proved to be a quality backup, he will get in there occasionally, mostly at the expense of Villar. Out of Santana, Braun, Broxton, and Perez, ABs will need to be found. One way is getting Perez in at 2B. You can consider Aguilar in that group because he pushes Thames to the OF, again probably pushing Perez to the IF.

 

So as it stands now, I highly doubt Villar will be more than a 500 AB guy. With Villar's stats, he just isn't worth it at that rate. He still is worth the flyer due to his potential, but its a low chance that he capitalizes fully on that.

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