The arrival and emergence of Carlos Correa drastically altered the Houston Astros' plans at shortstop, leaving Jonathan Villar caught in the middle.
He's seen his playing time take a significant hit as Correa showed up this season and assumed everyday status back in June. Entering play Tuesday, Villar has only appeared in 41 games for the Astros, instead spending much of the summer with Triple-A Fresno.
As a result, Villar is eager to make an impression however he can. On Tuesday, he did just that by launching second-deck home run at O.co Coliseum in the Astros' loss to the Oakland Athletics. That's not an area of that ballpark that many batters are able to reach, but Villar made it look easy.
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Speaking with Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle after the game, Villar commented about his diminished role on the Astros and how it's affected his mindset: "In one way, I feel good because I'm showing them that I can do the job. But on the other hand, I'm down because we lost. I would have felt better if we had won."
Still, Villar knows the importance of doing what he can when he's called upon by A.J. Hinch: "I'll keep trying to take advantage 100 percent when they give me opportunities."
Having fallen behind Correa and, perhaps, Marwin Gonzalez on the Astros' depth chart, Villar needs to continue making his presence felt in this way in order to stand out among the team's various bench options.