Jose Villa’s Loud Bat is Defining His Game

To say that Jose Villa is under the radar would be an understatement. Signed in July of 2016, Villa’s bonus and profile is unlisted in every recap from his signing class. Signed for only $10,000, he was part of the class that brought in Roansy Contreras and Saul Torres. However, despite the quiet anonymity, Villa’s work at the plate has firmly placed him in the conversation for the best hitter in the GCL.

Villa is slashing .396/.415/.604 with 2 HR as the month of July comes to a close. He has a quiet set-up at the plate, a good feel for the barrel, and quick hands. Villa is aggressive at the plate preferring to ambush strikes than work deep into counts. Villa’s swing is short and compact, linear with good bat speed. I haven’t seen extra-base power despite the high slugging percentage. But what I have seen is consistent hard contact to the pull side.

Listed at 5’11 and 174lbs., Villa has a solid, athletic frame with some projection left. He looks athletic at the plate but not in the field or on the basepaths. Defensively, I’ve seen him play 3B, 1B, and LF. At 3B, his reactions are a bit slow, and his arm is probably a 40 grade. He catches what is hit to him, but he isn’t flashy and doesn’t show much range. And that seems to sum up Villa. He doesn’t have the size of Anthony Garcia, who immediately catches your eye at 6’6″. He doesn’t have the explosiveness of Antonio Cabello nor does he flash the raw power of Stanley Rosario.

Villa isn’t the best athlete, and he doesn’t have the strongest arm. He is a 40-grade runner. He doesn’t have a true position.  But the one thing he does have is a feel for the barrel. Jose Villa hits and hits and hits. While everything about him seems quiet and unassuming, the one thing that consistently breaks through the silence is the ball coming off his barrel.