Should Houston Astros’ Jonathan Villar Feel Encroaching Pressure of Carlos Correa?

Troy Taormina – USA TODAY Sports

Short stop is one position the Houston Astros seem to be all set at. The position is currently filled by Jonathan Villar, a product of the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to the Philadelphia Phillies. Villar’s main claim to fame is his insane speed and electric play style; he’s a spark plug. Any whom question this need only reference the video of Villar stealing home off Baltimore OriolesWei-Yin Chen. But electricity and speed do not make a complete player.

Villar had some really strong spurts for the Astros, though he finished the season with a .243 average. Villar’s last 10 games were abysmal, as he hit .095, lowering his average from a solid .272 to the .243 he finished with. But even more appalling is the gaudy 17 strikeouts in his last 10 games, capping a very high-strikeout rookie stint. Villar struck out once every 2.9 at bats; that’s worse than even Chris Carter.

Obviously Villar is putting in the offseason work to cut down on strikeouts, so it’ll be interesting to see what the 2014 season brings. But is it about the time that Villar should be hearing the foot steps of the young phenom Carlos Correa?

Correa may not have gone over the Single-A level, but given a good offseason, a good spring training, and the uncertainty surrounding the Astros, it’s not completely out of the question to contemplate the possibility of Correa suiting up in Houston in 2014. Again, a whole lot of things would have to happen for that to occur, but it’s the Astros — anything is possible.

Villar’s audition in the MLB is too short to judge his major league capabilities, so to come out and say that Correa is primed to steal the job from him would be a bit premature. That being said, Correa continues to get better. He finished the season hitting .320 in Single-A ball, striking out once every 5.2 at-bats. That’s pretty impressive, especially when considering that he’s starting to grow into some power.

And then there’s the possibility of Correa moving to third, assuming he continues to grow. Matt Dominguez is pretty firmly implanted there as it stands, but given time, who knows. All that needs to be said of Correa is that he’s growing better and better, and his MLB debut may not be as far as people think.

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