The Mets 26-man roster contains a player we are like to skip over, focusing on more familiar names. Look deeper and you’ll find a surprise…
Skimming through the Mets 26-man active roster, it’s human nature to look for Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, et al first.
But there’s a player who has no credentials for stardom in the Mets universe, but who still holds a prominent place in the success of the team.
Jonathan Villar is a journeyman major league ballplayer who has landed and disappeared from five teams before landing with the Mets before he was signed as a free agent last February.
He came to the Mets with little if any fanfare, carrying a pedestrian .258 lifetime batting average, a .327 on-base percentage (OBP), with an OPS that borders on the major league average of .776.
Versatile in the field (third, shortstop, and second base), he ingratiated his way into being a reliable replacement player when injuries took the Mets’ regulars down with injuries.
Mets Put Him In – He’s Ready To Play
Today, that confidence by Luis Rojas was again demonstrated when he inserted Villar into his lineup as a lead-off hitter in a game against the Nationals in a game his team needed a win.
Villar responded with a 3-5 day, with a triple, home run, 3 RBI, and three runs scored in a Mets victory.
Jonathan Villar does not do this every day for the team. He’s a role player tucked within the arsenal Mets manager Luis Rojas has at his disposal.
It’s a toss-up as to whether or not Villar will be with the team in 2022, as his trade value is ever rising
But when the Mets consider a few of the stats that Villar thrives on and has produced, they might do well to take a time-out.
Leading off an inning, Pillar is batting 319. with a .407 OBP, but the telling stat that means a “picker-upper” for the Mets is the five home runs he has hit in this situation.
Mets: Don’t Let Him Go
Jonathan Villar is not and will never be a difference-maker in the outcome of this or any other Mets’ season. Those responsibilities rest with Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and a few others than them who may or may not be here when Spring Training 2022 begins.
But as the Mets front office and Steve Cohen enter into the evaluation phase of their players during the offseason, Villar should be a name they skip over when they engage in the inevitable process of adding through subtraction.
Villar will be 31 mid-way into the 2022 season. He is earning $3.5 million this year with the Mets, and he will be a free agent when this season concludes.
With Michael Conforto and Marcus Stroman also on the Mets free agent radar for 2022, Villar will likely be an also-ran as the Mets put their offseason strategy together.
That will be a mistake, though, as players like Villar complement a winning team.
Villar may or may not willingly entertain offers from the other teams while the Mets work their way through “higher priorities”.
But when you look at his performance in the face of numerous “stars” who have failed to produce, what can it hurt to bring Jonathan Villar into the fold as a player who “gets it”, and as a reminder as to why control of every at-bat is the ingredient that makes runs…
“Role players make a winning team” (S. Contursi 8/29/21)
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Ralph Maffei not even close to the 1961 team !!!!
Drew Shew Idk if we like to skip over Villar, he is one of the more popular players of the bench mob.
Bill CoppolaHe needs to learn how to run the bases Otherwise, he’s an asset
Roberto Roberto Luciano He’s always been a hitter in Milwaukee and in Baltimore
Fred Brunner He’s a Journeyman he’s been around the league with 5 different teams who jumped around five different teams besides ours. I he had a quick stint with Houston but he also jumped around a bunch of minor league teams and a few from MLB going back maybe 6 years All true, but does that devalue his presence on the Mets next year?
Dave Campbell Watched him play in the minors with the then BlueClaws. Phillies minor league team
Bobby Plummer I know one thing he got a job on the Mets next season after hitting 14 homers
Closing Comments And Final Thoughts
A good sampling has been received so we’ll close down published comments.
As expected, Jonathan Villar is not someone whose name will ignite a firestorm. Nevertheless, he’s a Met who deserves to keep our eye on as the offseason progresses.