HOUSTON -- Astros Minor League infield instructor Adam Everett stopped at Minute Maid Park on Monday on his way to Double-A Corpus Christi. It proved to be good timing and gave him the chance to do some extra work with shortstop Jonathan Villar, who made three errors in the past two games.
Everett, the slick-fielding shortstop from the Astros team that reached the World Series a decade ago, said Villar has come a long way mentally despite the recent errors. Villar has made strides at the plate, hitting .357 in his previous 15 games, but he still struggles defensively at times and on the bases.
"I think he's realizing the importance of playing defense and realizing the importance of this game to him," Everett said. "So everything is starting to come full circle for him. He's really impressed me the way he's handled himself with having to make the team out of Spring Training and getting sent down and coming back up and playing as well as he has.
"I know, recently, he's had a couple of miscues, but I think for the most part he's starting to get over the hump and become the player everyone is waiting for him to be."
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he wants to protect the confidence of any player, which means the player has to have a short memory when he's scuffling at the plate or on the field.
"There's been some clumps of errors that have come for him that have made it feel a little slower than it's been," Hinch said. "He has all the talent in the world, he's worked really hard to keep his concentration level high. Unfortunately, there's a lapse every now and then. The effort and the intensity is there, which is important from my chair."
Concentration has been an issue for Villar. That improved this year somewhat as he was forced to bounce around between shortstop, third base and even the outfield, but his recent errors have many wondering about his viability as a day-to-day option at short.
"I think it's a little bit of a crutch for players when they go through these ruts, but certainly the maturity of Major League players, the more games they play in the big leagues, the more comfortable they become and the concentration level has to be there,' Hinch said.
• Right-hander Brad Peacock, who's on the disabled list with a lat strain, will throw a bullpen in Houston this week before reporting to Corpus Christi on Saturday to throw a simulated game in advance of beginning a rehab outing.