The San Francisco Giants won’t be collecting too much hardware this offseason, but at least one trophy is going their way. Third baseman David Villar, one of the bright spots in a highly lackluster season, was announced on Monday as the MVP of the Pacific Coast League.
Villar certainly had a season to remember. A year after setting the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels franchise record in home runs, Villar started the year with the AAA Sacramento River Cats, and the ball was flying off his bat immediately. He hit home run after home run before earning a promotion to San Francisco, where he made his Major League debut on July 4.
He stayed in the Bay Area for about a month, during which time he struggled quite a bit, before getting optioned back to Sacramento to find his magic again.
That’s exactly what he did. Villar spent August tuning his bat with the River Cats, before rejoining the Giants in early September, and staying there for the rest of the season. After hitting .175/.338/.286, with one home run in 80 plate appearances in his first go around with the Giants, Villar crushed the baseball in his second stint, hitting .269/.327/.570, with eight home runs in 101 plate appearances.
The first-stint struggles mean Villar probably still has to prove himself before getting a significant role handed to him, but the second-stint brilliance means he certainly factors into the team’s plans going forward.
In addition to being named league MVP, Villar was, as you could probably guess, also named the third baseman on the end-of-year All-PCL team. He was the only member of the River Cats to make the All-PCL team. The PCL has 10 teams, with affiliates from the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, and Los Angeles Angels.
Congrats to Villar on an awesome year.