The Houston Astros began bringing up of some of their top prospects when they called up Jarred Cosart in June. Cosart had an immediate impact on the Astros as he went into the ninth in his debut, all while carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Not long after that outstanding outing, the Astros called up shortstop Jonathan Villar. Since his callup, Villar has lived up to expectations.
Villar has had some problems with his defense in Triple-A Oklahoma City as well in his short stint in the majors, but he provides the Astros with a much-needed spark on the offensive end of the game.
Villar has a nice bat, but the best thing about his offensive game is his legs. He is fast. He is really, really fast. In his first 15 games with the big club, Villar has stolen 10 bases, including a gutsy straight steal of home. His steal of home was so impressive that he beat the pitcher’s pickoff throw at home plate by a solid five seconds. He could have stolen home standing up, easily.
However, against the Boston Red Sox, Villar sprained his left thumb in the second game of the three-game series. With this off day, however, he could be back in time to face Matt Garza and the Texas Rangers in the first of four games on Friday.
If that is true, his speed could really make Garza uncomfortable if he utilizes his bunt game. Garza, who has trouble fielding his position, doesn’t like to be bunted on, and that was shown when the Oakland Athletics executed it to perfection.
For the Astros to have a chance against the Rangers, they will need Villar healthy and in the lineup everyday. The kid can play.