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2015 TCB Astros March Madness: Jonathan Villar vs. Jake Marisnick

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The last remnant of the Roy Oswalt return dukes it out with an elite defender trying to win a starting job.

Just a reminder; voting will stay open for 24 hours for each of these match-ups, and there will be two match-ups per day. For a complete breakdown, check out the introductory post if you haven't already. Get those votes in while you can!

Round One, Match Twenty Two

Jonathan Villar, SS

Villar was a toolsy shortstop prospect who came from the Phillies in the Oswalt trade. He is frustrating, because he flashes his tools on some some plays and then disappoints on others. Villar has speed, range, and an excellent arm. In 2014, he made some astonishing defensive plays, but also had 18 errors in in 82 games, which may stick in fans' minds more than the sparkling plays. Villar had decent offense in AA and AAA in 2012 and 2013, which led to his call up in 2013. In those minors' seasons, he showed decent power for a shortstop, decent walk rates, but had problems with strike outs. In the majors he continued to have strike out issues, but hasn't come close to the above-average wRC+ he exhibited in 2012 and 2013 in the minors. In his initial ML season in 2013, he had no power, but a high BABIP made his offensive stats look better. In his 2014 ML season, some power reappeared, but the BABIP came crashing down--as a result, his overall offensive results were ugly. Despite the negatives so far, Villar still is only 23 years old, which is young enough to continue to get chances to put it together. With an infield bolstered by trades and free agent signings, absent a big spring, Villar probably starts the season in AAA, but could get his chances in the majors again---if he shows more development in the minors. -- clack


Jake Marisnick, CF

Defense! Defense! This is Marisnick's calling card. Jake was acquired as a part of the Cosart to Miami deal. Marisnick will have a long career as a reserve outfielder at worst because of his defensive prowess. He's rangey and has an arm that plays well from all outfield positions. The question marks with Jake totally revolve around his bat. He has a career .800 OPS in the minor leagues including a 150 wRC+ in 298 plate appearances in 2013 in AA, but his bat has been sporadic at best in the majors so far. Marisnick does not have to be a slugger to be very valuable thanks to his defensive value. If Marisnick can just figure out the stick enough to be a league average hitter, he will make this trade with Miami prove to be a big win. -- IrishPete