The Miami Marlins made a pair of significant additions yesterday, and while the moves may be written off in terms of the real game from a fantasy perspective they need to be addressed. These are a pair of prominent names that the team brought in:
- 1B Jesus Aguilar
- 2B Jonathan Villar
That’s a needed bat atop the lineup and a potential middle of the order thumper:
His presence will also have an impact on Villar, so let’s cover him first. After breaking out in 2018 for the Brewers (.274 with 35 HR and 108 RBI), he fell completely flat in 2019 while splitting time between two teams. He hit .236 with 12 HR and 50 RBI over 369 PA, though the underlying numbers make you think that there’s significantly more there:
- Hard% – 41.7%
- Oppo% – 26.3%
- Flyball Rate – 37.9%
- SwStr% – 10.7%
- O-Swing% – 29.9%
His approach was actually improved from 2018 (12.4% SwStr%, 35.6% O-Swing%), and all of the other numbers would indicate better than a .272 BABIP. He also has shown more power, with his HR/FB going from 23.8% in ’18 to 13.2% last season. In 2018 he hit 31 HR against fourseam fastballs, sinkers and sliders, but the SLG regressed against all of them (2018 SLG // 2019 SLG):
- Fourseam – .661 // .480
- Sinker – .635 // .357
- Slider – .491 // .288
Obviously playing in Miami isn’t going to do any favors for his power, but even if he falls short of his 2018 mark at least a modest improvement should be there. With the other numbers also supporting an improved batting average, there’s reason for optimism. He’s not going to be a Top 10-15 option at first base, but he’ll hold value as a late round flier for your CI/U.
The switch hitter is coming off a monster season, hitting .274 with 24 HR, 73 RBI, 111 R and 40 SB. Obviously the first instinct is going to be to reduce the expectations in terms of his power and runs scored. The addition of Aguilar is going to help add to his potential to score, and further development from Brian Anderson (who may be the biggest benefactor from the moves) would provide another run producer. Still it’s not like the Orioles were an impressive offense, so producing 90+ runs should be a given.
Even in Baltimore we would’ve been skeptical about him replicating his power production (29.0% Hard%), and his home/road split is telling (HR/FB):
- Home – 20.5%
- Road – 12.1%
That road mark yielded 8 HR over 325 AB, and 14-17 HR is a much more believable expectation. He needs to focus more on utilizing his speed to get on base and wreak havoc, something he’s proven adept at even though his ability to make consistent contact has always been in question (12.4% SwStr% in ’19). After posting a .259 AVG in the first half and with a little less power, it’s possible that he’s more of a .250ish hitter.
That said, a middle infielder who hits .250 with 15 HR, 35 SB and 90 R… That’s someone you are going to want to own, especially with speed down across the game. There’s risk, but there’s more reward as he remains a borderline Top 10 option at 2B.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball