David Villar is beginning to introduce himself to SF Giants fans, but a record that he set just last season has already been eclipsed. Villar set a Richmond Flying Squirrels franchise record by blasting 20 home runs in 2021, but corner infield prospect Sean Roby will have a new record by the end of the season.
SF Giants corner infield prospect sets new home run record at Richmond
Double-A can be a tough environment for hitters due to the advanced pitching, tough early-season climate, and large ballparks. However, that has not been a problem in recent seasons for Vill and Roby.
Villar really began to put his name on the map with Richmond as he slashed .275/.374/.507 (141 wRC+) with 20 home runs, 58 RBI, and 70 runs in 446 plate appearances. He consistently showed good power since being selected in the 11th round of the 2018 draft, but his power output took another step forward in 2021.
Of course, the right-handed bat followed that up with an equally strong 2022 campaign in Triple-A where he tallied a 1.043 OPS with 21 home runs, 62 RBI, and 53 runs scored in 281 plate appearances before earning a promotion to the major league club.
Roby has shown good power as a pro as well and he is having a season not too dissimilar to the one Villar had in 2021. Roby is coming off of a season in which he swatted 19 home runs for the Eugene Emeralds last year.
He is on an even better home run pace in 2022 as he has registered a .222/.284/.516 (113 wRC+) with 22 home runs, 46 RBI, and 37 runs in 271 plate appearances. This includes a 7.4 percent walk rate against a 40.6 percent strikeout rate, so there is a fair amount of swing-and-miss to his game.
His 21st home run of the season came on July 2, and there is plenty of time to add to that mark as Richmond's season goes until the end of August. Power is going to be Roby's carrying tool as a pro and he is showing that he can produce at a rate unlike many prospects in the Giants farm system.
By the time the season ends, Roby will have set a new home run record for Richmond. The previous record set by Villar stood for less than a year. Nevertheless, it is a good sign to see a pair of prospects perform in a league that can often be tough for hitters.