Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar had an amazing season, hitting well and stealing over 60 bases. As a 23rd round draft pick, he is my MVP among hitters.
There were a lot of surprises throughout the 2016 fantasy baseball season. The rookies, bounce-back seasons, disappointments, injuries. All of it made for a great season. With the regular season over, it’s time to start handing out the end-of-the-year awards. After the season he had and based on where he was drafted, Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar is my Most Valuable Hitter.
Villar entered this season after a disappointing three seasons with the Houston Astros. In his time there, he played in 198 games. He played in 156 with the Brewers this year alone. Villar hit a combined 10 home runs, 46 RBI, 75 runs scored, and .236/.300/.353 line with 42 steals.
He destroyed those totals this season. Villar hit 19 home runs, 63 RBI, 92 runs scored, .285/.369/.457 line and 62 stolen bases. He made improvements in all aspects of his game, contact, power and speed. Any fantasy owner who drafted him or, most likely, added him off the waiver wire, welcomed a performance no one saw coming.
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While stolen bases weigh heavier than the other hitting categories because of how infrequent they come, he hit the ball well enough to boost his value in the other four stats.
I haven’t mapped out where he ranks among the other shortstops next season. But, by just looking at his contemporaries, I can quickly name five players I will rank ahead of him. Trying to fill the second-half of the top 10 with players other than Villar will be difficult.
The question we will ask all winter is whether or not Villar’s season is a one-hit wonder or it’s something we can expect next season. He never showed this kind of contact and power with the Astros. He showed some speed, but his previous season-high was 18 and that came in his rookie season in 2013. But, as for this season, Villar will end as the most valuable hitter in fantasy baseball.