Sunday, May 4, 2014

Jonathan Villar & Mike Zunino

For those of you... uh.... able to get the CSN telecast today, Bill Brown and Alan Ashby had an interesting discussion about the two number 9 hitters.

For the Mariners, Mike Zunino was in the number nine slot.  He was hitting, entering today's game, an interesting .272/.294/.494.  The .494 was the highest slugging percentage on the Mariners team.  Next highest: .457 (Kyle Seager).

For the Astros, Jonathan Villar was in the number nine slot.  He was hitting, entering today's game, a very interesting.241/.305/.448.  The .448 leads the Astros in slugging.  Next highest: .419, Jason Castro.

So, the two number nine hitters have the highest slugging percentage on their respective teams.

When was the last time that happened?? Did Babe Ruth ever hit 9th as a pitcher??  Is there a quiet Micah Owings - Rick Ankiel matchup out there where that has occurred before?  This is what makes baseball interesting - during a normal game, there is something that makes it stand out, potentially historically.

That said, even more interesting is that after the game, Jonathan Villar is now hitting .256/.323/.511.  That is after a 2-3, 3B, HR day, where he drove in 3.  He has 6 SB on the year, versus 1 CS.  People aren't excited about his defence, but he is far from a liability out there.

He ranks second in AL shortstops in slugging - behind the similarly-mercurial Alexi Ramirez.  In OPS, Villar ranks third, behind Ramirez and the bunteriffic Jed Lowrie.

Villar is quietly having a nice season.  0.8 WAR (Fangraphs), 131 wRC+, .363 wOBA - before his terrific May 3 game. (Apologies - includes that game).



Anonymous said...

He's having a great year. Must be time to trade him for more prospects.

Masked Marvel said...

I am not so sure they will trade him. He fulfils the 4 Astros criteria for position players:
(i) makes the minimum
(ii) can't play defence
(iii) makes the minimum
(iv) makes the minimum

Matt Pearson said...

When did this turn into the comments section?

Lyle said...

He actually can play defense though. He's been fine, if not much better than fine, defensively this season.

Teddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teddy said...

When you have so much hatred inside, it just has to spill out somewhere...apparently they have realized most Astros supporters have fled the website and they have barely anyone to insult, therefore they have began to search for us.

This is step one: insult Astros

Step 2: insult those supporting Astros.

Step 3: jump back on the bandwagon when the Astros become good again, claiming they were behind the organization the whole time and insult those who actually admit they were against Crane until they started winning.

Step 4: Call THOSE people bandwagon fans.

Masked Marvel said...

Hey, look, my comments were sarcastic and in jest. Apologies if they were interpreted differently. I think Villar is well worth an extended look, and could well be a star. He seems to have made a huge strides since this time last year. People have always said that he has all the talent in the world, but that "other factors" are going to hold him back. It is going to be a very interesting next few years. He has probably been the bright spot so far this year.