We continue on today with our new series slated to run through the next several months of the offseason, taking a look back at each of the 50 players who suited up for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2017 season. We’ll recap their 2017 campaign with an eye looking forward to 2018 as well, as we remember an unexpected and exciting 2017 season at Miller Park.
JONATHAN VILLAR – 2B/SS/3B
THE NUMBERS: Villar appeared in 122 games for Milwaukee during the 2017 season, batting .241/.293/.372 with 18 doubles, a triple and 11 home runs. He also stole 23 bases and scored 49 runs for the Brewers while driving in 40.
SEASON REVIEW: Villar made the move from shortstop to second base as Orlando Arcia took over as the team’s everyday shortstop, but he struggled at the plate, failing to replicate his offensive numbers from the previous season. He got off to a slow start, hitting .206 in April and .217 in May, then saw his playing time decrease with the addition of Eric Sogard. Villar played in just 11 games during the month of June, batting .243, then hit .217 again in July. The increased at-bats seemed to get him going in August however, as he was named the team’s Player of the Month after hitting .364 with three home runs. With the acquisition of Neil Walker, Villar saw his playing time cut again however and he finished the year in a reserve role.
A versatile infielder who has seen time at shortstop, second base and third base, the Brewers also experimented with Villar in center field at times during the 2017 season as well. A threat on the basepaths, Villar can also get himself into trouble there with some bad baserunning at times, but he provides more pop than you would get from a traditional second baseman and when things are going well, he’s a sparkplug at the top of the order. His numbers after the All-Star break were much more in line with his 2016 numbers, but by that point he had already saw his role reduced.
GAME OF THE YEAR: Despite his struggles, Villar managed to turn in his fair share of memorable moments in 2017, including a game against the Cincinnati Reds on June 29th that saw Milwaukee clobber Cincinnati by a score of 11-3. Starting at second base and batting in the leadoff spot, Villar clubbed his 7th and 8th home runs of the season, going yard in back-to-back innings. In a game that saw the Brewers belt six home runs, Villar hit one in the third, then turned around and did it again in the fourth as Milwaukee rolled to a win,
OVERALL GRADE: C-
OUTLOOK FOR 2018: It will be interesting to see if the Brewers go out and get someone to play second base in the offseason or if they stand pat and give Villar another crack at the position. A talented young player, Villar provides loads more upside than an Eric Sogard, but his early-season struggles and, at times, bad baserunning were maddening for Brewers fans and coaches alike. If he can return to the form shown in 2016 and the latter months of 2017, he could be a candidate for a huge bounceback season.