StaTuesday: Brewers' Villar closing on exclusive 20-60 club
Earlier this season we noted how Milwaukee Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar had a chance to join an elite club if he could maintain his .400+ BAbip (batting average of balls in play).
Well, Villar will fall short of that, as he slumped in September (.170 BAbip so far) and is down to .371.
However, there is one area Villar has done well in this final month of the season -- hitting home runs. He has seven in September thus far; his previous high was four in June.
That gives Villar 18 home runs with five games remaining on the season. He also has 59 stolen bases. If Villar can swipe one more bag and knock two more homers, he'll join company even more elite than the .400 BAbip club.
Only six times in major-league history has a player hit 20+ home runs and stolen 60+ bases in a season, and only three players have accomplished the feat. And it hasn't been done in 26 years.
For the record, Villar, 25, has played in 151 games. He could play in 156, if he plays in the remainder of Milwaukee's games, which includes two more at Texas and three at Colorado.
You might think Villar has a better chance of hitting two home runs at Colorado. However, this season the Rangers have allowed 1.38 homer per nine innings at home while the Rockies have given up 1.21 HR per 9 at Coors Field.
Here are the starting pitchers Villar is expected to face the rest of the week with their home runs allowed this season and Villar's career stats vs. each:
Tuesday: A.J. Griffin (26 HR in 114.2 IP; 2.0/9) -- 2 for 6, double
Wednesday: Derek Holland (15 HR in 106.1 IP; 1.3/9) -- 2 for 10, double
Friday: Chad Bettis (21 HR in 179.1 IP; 1.1/9) -- 1 for 2
Saturday: Tyler Anderson (12 HR in 114.1 IP; 0.9/9) -- 2 for 3, double
Sunday: German Marquez (0 HR in 10.1 IP) -- n/a
As far as the one steal? We think Villar has a good chance of getting that no matter who is on the mound or behind the plate.
Statistics courtesy baseball-reference.com
Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth's Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns