Saturday, June 30, 2018

Former Phils prospect Astudillo makes MLB debut with Twins

When the Twins put infielder Taylor Motter on the disabled list week, they needed a replacement.  What better man to answer the call than widely regarded multi-positional batsman Willians Astudillo?

Oh, he's not highly regarded?  You don't even recall his playful attitude and ability to almost never strike out and almost never walk when he played in the Phillies organization?  Well, he's a .310 career hitter in Triple-A and he was the Rochester Red Wings leading batter this season. And in 2,342 plate appearances in the minors, Astudillo walked 80 times and walked in just 76 instances.  The infrequency of both occurrences is genuinely the reputation he's built for himself in his nine pro seasons.  

Astudillo, a native of Venezuela, has played seven different positions (everything except center field and shortstop) in his minor league career.  When he made his big league debut at Chicago's Wrigley Field on Sunday, he split time in left field and center field, leaving shortstop as the only position he's never played as a professional. 

The 26-year-old, who is generously listed at five-foot-nine and 225 pounds, notched his first big league hit with a run scoring single.  He tallied a 1-for-2 overall effort on the day.

If you still can't recall who Astudillo is or if you've read to this point and are still wondering why you should care and him, the animated ,gif below, made from video I shot in 2014 when he played with Class A Lakewood, will show you why this guy matters.  And rest assured that Buster, the BlueClaws' mascot, surely won't soon forget "Big Willy".

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