I hope Jayne over at whattheheckbobby.com doesn’t get too upset with me but I wanted to discuss some Astros’ minor league ball. Specifically, a still very young shortstop that was once the Astros SS of the future, Jonathan Villar. With the acquisition and ultimately very good play of Jed Lowrie and the drafting of Carlos Correa, Villar has become a forgotten man. Acquired for Roy Oswalt, the young player was penciled in to challenge Jiovanni Mier for the SS spot in say 2014? While Mier has improved, the skills Villar has shown are unique and exciting. If the Astros trade Jed Lowrie, Villar might see time in Houston much sooner than expected.
So when the Astros acquired the young kid along with Brett Wallace and J.A. Happ most fans had not heard his name come up in many trade discussions throughout the process. The natural reaction to his acquisition was: who was this young guy we traded our former ace for? In reality Villar has always been thought of as a good prospect, not quite great prospect, but Astros’ fans had their sights set on Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and even Dom Brown. The Astros would acquire Cosart and Singleton a year later and Villar may be starting to shine. Jonathan has a real chance to finish the season with 20 HRs, 50 SBs and an OBP of .350. For a shortstop, that is pretty darn good. Villar still has room to grow but has time on his side as well.
The question is still a couple of years away from being even considered but when do we begin to wonder about Villar at Minute Maid Park. For now, Jed Lowrie is entrenched at shortstop and unless dealt, will be for the near future. However, there is no prospect between the two at this point. The odds are that when Lowrie moves on, unless it’s in the next two weeks, the transition will go from Jed to Jonathan. The realistic time table at this point would be opening day 2014 but we could get sneak peaks anywhere from this September to the next. While a callup this season would certainly be rushing the young prospect, it would be fun to see the kid use that cannon from deep short. Ed Wade might have done a lot of wrong but certainly did some right and I’d be willing to bet a nice steak dinner that Villar is one of those good things.