The SF Giants welcomed back a key addition at the hot corner on Wednesday, but another third baseman in the organization is making a lot of noise in Triple-A after a hot start.
SF Giants third base prospect is off to a hot start in Triple-A
David Villar is not necessarily the name that Giants fans think of when they think of a farm system that continues to rate well. He may not even be the top third base prospect in the organization thanks to 2020 second rounder Casey Schmitt.
That said, Villar is a prospect who has quietly performed well in the minors and his numbers have improved as he has progressed up the minor league ladder. The Giants originally selected the corner infield prospect in the 11th round of 2018 draft out of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.
Despite being a relatively low draft pick, the previous regime was excited to be able to add a potent bat at that point in the draft. The new regime seems to have provided the coaching and development that Villar has needed to take his production to the next level.
In his first full season as a pro, the right-handed bat slashed .262/.334/.421 (108 wRC+) with 13 home runs, 57 RBI, and 68 runs in 479 plate appearances at High-A. These were strong numbers, but not the type that gets a lot of attention as a college draftee.
Villar took a huge step forward in 2021 where he excelled in the Eastern League, which has often been the true measuring stick for prospects. The Eastern League is a tough league for hitters due in part to the tough pitching, large ballparks, and rough climates.
This did not phase Villar as he slashed .275/.374/.507 (141 wRC+) with 20 home runs, 58 RBI, and 70 runs in 385 plate appearances with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. This included better control of the strikezone as he posted a 10.3 percent walk rate against a 25.1 percent strikeout rate.
Villar's home run output set a Richmond franchise record, surpassing the previous mark of 18 home runs set by both Jarrett Parker (2013) and Mario Lisson (2014).
The power-hitting prospect has carried that torrid pace into 2022 where he has posted a 1.065 OPS with 10 home runs in 120 plate appearances. This includes a 161 wRC+ and a .350 ISO, which both represent career highs for Villar.
In the field, he continues to split time between third base and first base with the former being his primary position. He was not known for his glove in college, but he has made some nice strides defensively that he should be able to stick at third base.
Given that the 40-man roster is full, Villar will need to wait a little longer for a promotion to the major league club. There is no doubt that he is doing everything he can in the batter's box to impress the front office. At this point, it is a matter of when for the corner infield prospect.