Villar with the Houston Astros in 2013
|Baltimore Orioles – No. 2|
|Second baseman / Shortstop|
|Born: May 2, 1991|
La Vega, Dominican Republic
|July 22, 2013, for the Houston Astros|
|MLB statistics |
(through July 13, 2019)
|Runs batted in||234|
|Career highlights and awards|
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.
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.
On July 21, the Astros promoted Villar to the major leagues. On July 30, 2013, Villar stole home against the Baltimore Orioles. 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.
The Astros traded Villar to the Milwaukee Brewers for Cy Sneed on November 19, 2015. 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. 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).
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.
On July 31, 2018, the Brewers traded Villar and minor leaguers Luis Ortiz and Jean Carmona to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Jonathan Schoop. 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.
- "Roy Oswalt OKs Trade to Phillies". CBS News.
- "Ultimate Astros » Villar, Correa among Astros minor league honorees". Blog.chron.com. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "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.
- "Villar steals home". MLB.com. 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- Brewers acquire infielder Jonathan Villar from Houston
- All-Star Voting Update: Ryan Braun only Brewer in top 5 for position players - Brew Crew Ball
- Trezza, Joe (July 31, 2018). "Brewers deal for Schoop from O's". mlb.com. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
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