Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Report Cards: Jonathan Villar
By Reuben Gasee
Jays Journal contributors will be authoring Toronto Blue Jays report cards based on how each player performed in 2020. In this edition, we take a look at Jonathan Villar.
As Bo Bichette went down with a knee injury, the Toronto Blue Jays were in search of a player who could regularly handle shortstop duties until he was healthy enough to return.
Enter Jonathan Villar who the Blue Jays acquired from the Miami Marlins in exchange for prospect Griffin Conine.
Villar not only provided the Jays with a guy with experience playing shortstop but also versatility, speed, and a top of the order bat.
In a Jays uniform, he played 22 games slashing .188/.278/.203 with seven stolen bases and 22 strikeouts. On the season as a whole, he slashed .232/.301/.292 with 16 stolen bases.
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Villar, who batted .232 on the season, had an expected batting average (XBA) of .216. His expected slugging percentage (XSLG) of .287 was among the lowest 1% in the league.
Off fastballs, he batted .253 with an XBA of .230. His slugging percentage off fastballs (.323) is the same as his XSLG. Off fastballs, he only had three extra-base hits with two of those going over the fence.
Fastballs weren’t his preferred pitch though. He did better hitting offspeed pitches with an average of .268.
He did struggle against breaking balls though as he batted .156 with an XBA of .137 meaning he got lucky at times.
His average exit velocity of 86.7 MPH was in the 18th percentile among major league hitters.
His stats this season as well as advanced statistics have him compared to former Blue Jay Billy McKinney‘s stats from 2019.
Villar is a much better player than his stats portray him to be. He can run, hit, play multiple positions on the field, and can play strong defence. Unfortunately, his stats just didn’t show it this season.
Villar is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Would you bring him back?