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Jonathan Rafael Villar Roque (born May 2, 1991) is a Dominican professional baseball second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers. Prior to 2017, Villar was primarily a shortstop.

Jonathan Villar
Villar Jonathan.jpg
Villar with the Baltimore Orioles in 2019
Baltimore Orioles – No. 2
Second baseman / Shortstop
Born: (1991-05-02) May 2, 1991 (age 28)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 22, 2013, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.261
Home runs78
Runs batted in268
Stolen bases202
Teams
Career highlights and awards

CareerEdit

Villar signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an international free agent. Before the 2011 season, the Phillies traded Villar, J. A. Happ, and Anthony Gose to the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt.[1]

Houston AstrosEdit

Villar was named the 94th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season. He was invited to Astros' spring training in 2012. Villar played for the Oklahoma City RedHawks in 2013, and was named the Astros' minor league hitter of the month for June 2013.[2]

On July 21, the Astros promoted Villar to the major leagues.[3] On July 30, 2013, Villar stole home against the Baltimore Orioles.[4] His strong finish to 2013 made him the team's Opening Day starter in 2014, but struggled offensively in 2014 as well as 2015. Nevertheless, he was named to the Astros' roster for the 2015 American League Wild Card Game. In the seventh inning, he pinch-ran for Chris Carter, stole second base, and scored on a single by José Altuve to make the score 3-0, which ended up being the final score of the game.

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

The Astros traded Villar to the Milwaukee Brewers for Cy Sneed on November 19, 2015.[5] Villar impressed Brewers manager Craig Counsell in Spring Training, and became the Brewers' Opening Day shortstop. Villar played very well for the first half of the season despite the team's struggles, posting a .298 batting average, 6 home runs and a league-leading 19 stolen bases before the All-Star Break.[6] After top prospect Orlando Arcia was promoted to the Majors, Villar was moved to third base. He finished the year with 62 stolen bases, leading the league, four more than Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds, along with a .285 average, 62 RBIs, and 19 home runs. He led the National League in power-speed number (29.1).[7]

After the acquisition of third baseman Travis Shaw, the Brewers announced that Villar would shift to second base. Villar struggled for most of 2017, and lost his starting job at second base after the Brewers traded for Neil Walker. With Keon Broxton struggling, Villar began to get regular starts in center field. Defensive struggles and the emergence of rookie outfielder Brett Phillips resulted in Villar once again returning to a bench role.

Baltimore OriolesEdit

At the trade deadline on July 31, 2018, Villar, along with minor leaguers Luis Ortiz and Jean Carmona, was sent to the Baltimore Orioles by the Brewers who acquired Jonathan Schoop for its postseason run.[8] Villar was activated on August 2nd and played his first game with the Orioles later that night. He collected two hits and scored a run in his Orioles debut. He collected three hits the next night, including his first RBI with the O's. Two nights later, he would collect three more hits in three at-bats, including a double, home run, one RBI, a walk and three runs scored. In 54 games, Villar hit .258/.336/.392 with eight home runs and led the Orioles with 21 stolen bases.

Villar became the fifth Oriole to hit for the cycle in a 9–6 home loss to the New York Yankees on August 5, 2019. He hit a triple and a double in the third and fifth innings respectively off Masahiro Tanaka, a two-run homer in the sixth off Tommy Kahnle that had tied the game at 6–6 and a single in the ninth off Aroldis Chapman.[9][a] His one-out three-run homer off Caleb Ferguson in the seventh inning of an Orioles' 7–3 home victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 11 was the 6,106th of 2019 and established a new major league record for most total home runs in a season, surpassing the 6,105 set two years earlier in 2017.[10] He was the first MLB player with at least 24 home runs and 40 stolen bases in the same season since Carlos Gómez in 2013.[11] Along with Starlin Castro, Whit Merrifield, Marcus Semien and Jorge Soler, he was one of only five players to appear in all 162 games in 2019.[12][13]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ At the time Villar hit for the cycle, prior Orioles to accomplish the feat were Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Aubrey Huff and Félix Pie. Additional players also accomplished the feat for the franchise when the team was the St. Louis Browns.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Roy Oswalt OKs Trade to Phillies". CBS News.
  2. ^ "Ultimate Astros » Villar, Correa among Astros minor league honorees". Blog.chron.com. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  3. ^ "Astros designate veterans Pena and Cedeno for assignment; Villar called up". Therepublic.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  4. ^ "Villar steals home". MLB.com. 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  5. ^ Brewers acquire infielder Jonathan Villar from Houston
  6. ^ All-Star Voting Update: Ryan Braun only Brewer in top 5 for position players - Brew Crew Ball
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Trezza, Joe (July 31, 2018). "Brewers deal for Schoop from O's". mlb.com. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  9. ^ Trezza, Joe. "Orioles' Villar hits for cycle vs. Yankees". MLB.com. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ Langs, Sarah. "MLB sets a new single-season HR record," MLB.com, Wednesday, September 11, 2019. Retrieved September 12, 2019
  11. ^ Trezza, Joe. "Means puts pin in impressive rookie campaign," MLB.com, Saturday, September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019
  12. ^ Trezza, Joe. "Villar nearing season goal of playing all 162," MLB.com, Wednesday, September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019
  13. ^ Dubroff, Rich, "Orioles’ final game typifies season; Wilkerson’s phenomenal catch, poor judgment; waiting on coaches," BaltimoreBaseball.com, Sunday, September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019

External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by
Trea Turner
Hitting for the cycle
August 5, 2019
Succeeded by
Cavan Biggio