Former Minnesota Twins fan favorite Willians Astudillo has found a home ahead of the 2023 season.
According to Nikkan Sports, Astudillo is heading to Japan. He has reportedly signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks for the 2023 campaign.
Former Minnesota Twins utility man Willians Astudillo finds a home
It did not take long for Astudillo to become a fan favorite when he reached the majors. His corpulent frame, ability to play virtually anywhere on the diamond, and uncanny knack for making contact endeared him to fans regardless of their rooting interests. He appeared to be the ‘every man’ who had found his way onto a major league team.
He emerged as an unlikely super utility man, appearing at every position aside from short. He posted a .267/.291/.396 batting line in his 588 plate appearances over parts of five seasons with the Twins and Marlins, hitting 16 homers and 22 doubles.
Astudillo also has another trait outside of his ability to play virtually anywhere on the diamond. He is at the plate to swing and make contact with a truly impressive refusal to either walk or strike out. He has drawn just 11 walks in the majors, but has countered that by striking out only 28 times. In an era of the Three True Outcomes, when striking out is accepted and walks are as valuable as base hits, Astudillo has been an anomaly.
However, he has been unable to get much traction in the majors, essentially slipping to a Quad-A type of player. It is possible that his time with the Hawks will change that, allowing Astudillo to take the steps forward needed to become a major league regular. Otherwise, it is entirely possible that he could be a star in Japan, especially with his ability to play almost anywhere and his ability to entertain.
Willians Astudillo has found a home for the 2023 season. The former Minnesota Twins utility man is heading to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.