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Video: Willians Astudillo Just Took Jose Berrios Deep

BASEBALL IS BACK.

On the first day of full squad workouts this year, the Twins open up Hammond Stadium for an open house. Fans can walk all around eat half-price concessions and watch Twins pitchers face Twins hitters. The first matchup of the day was Jose Berrios versus Willians Astudillo. The second time they faced each other, this happened:


Astudillo wasn't done, by the way. A bit later he faced Trevor May and did the same, pulling the ball into the right field berm.

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45 Comments

He just went deep off Trevor May, also.

 

Give this man a roster spot!!!

    • Jerr, snepp, mikelink45 and 8 others like this
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sweetmusicviola16
Feb 18 2019 11:59 AM

Willians Astudillo should be on the team that goes north at the end of March. No doubt in my mind, he proved so last season. I don't care what Cron is getting paid or the loss of a mil if he doesn't make the team. Or that Austin is out of options. Willians makes the team better. Period.

    • Jerr, beckmt, Monkeypaws and 6 others like this
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Parker Hageman
Feb 18 2019 12:03 PM

Most guys in spring are making this type of contact the first time they face live pitching...

 

 

Obviously Astudillo has the advantage of having played winter ball up until two weeks ago so he is probably further ahead than most of his teammates.

    • Carole Keller, ashbury, birdwatcher and 9 others like this
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strumdatjaguar
Feb 18 2019 12:11 PM

The two HRs today for Astudillo is one more than Miguel Sano hit in 45 at bats during winter ball in the DR

    • Jerr, mikelink45, Minny505 and 2 others like this
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nicksaviking
Feb 18 2019 12:17 PM

Where is his pop coming from?!? He's doing the Denard Span/Byron Buxton no-step swing and it looked like he put about as much effort into that swing as a guy simply trying to foul off a pitch.

 

I really like this guy. He might turn out to be a fad and someone who ends up as a a fun anecdotal footnote in the history books but let's ride this while it's hot. He might be someone you roll with, though perhaps not something you try to understand how it works.

    • Blake, Jerr, spycake and 9 others like this

"Somehow, I don't know how it happened, but we ended up in our meeting this morning having more fun talking more about Willians than, again, any other player here," Baldelli said.

 

Weird. It's almost like the guy is popular for his exciting play or something.

 

"This is a guy that's been a successful hitter to this point," Baldelli said.

 

Thanks for throwing him a bone there.

 

"Where don't we want to see him defensively, is the question," Baldelli said. "We are going to move him around. We're going to give him opportunities to show us what he can do."

 

He's been showing you. It's time for you to show him something, might I suggest an attitude other than sheer bafflement at his ability.

 

 

    • Steve Lein, NapoleonComplex, mikelink45 and 7 others like this
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Parker Hageman
Feb 18 2019 12:31 PM

 

Where is his pop coming from?!? He's doing the Denard Span/Byron Buxton no-step swing and it looked like he put about as much effort into that swing as a guy simply trying to foul off a pitch.

 

Back when the Twins first signed him in November 2017, I noted that Astudillo made some changes to his swing in the minors before having a career year in the Braves org.

 

While he doesn't have a big leg kick or obvious power generator, he now has a fully connected swing whereas his top and lower half acted more independently in his previous swing.

 

 

It's a more connected kinetic chain. I liken it to something that Bruce Lee talked about in his one-inch punch -- working the power from the ground up in the proper sequence -- and you can generate a ton of power in a small space. 

 

fB70GiI.gif

 

 

    • Steve Lein, nicksaviking, Dantes929 and 4 others like this

Hosken Bombo Disco gonna need to change his name to Hosken Bombo Disco Willians.... :)

    • ashbury, gil4, nicksaviking and 7 others like this
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Battle ur tail off
Feb 18 2019 01:00 PM

I just find a roster spot for this guy almost no matter what. I don't care if you have to start him at 1B or move him around and get him 3 days a week all over the diamond. This guy is a baseball player and has the kind of fire you want around your team. Plays the game HARD. I think he adds a win or 2 this season, just by being around the club. 

 

 

    • Jerr, beckmt, hybridbear and 5 others like this
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Battle ur tail off
Feb 18 2019 01:01 PM

Also, what other kind of guy you want around to come in and pinch hit for you? He literally doesn't strike out and will put the ball in play almost every at bat. 

    • Steve Lein, Jerr, Dman and 7 others like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Feb 18 2019 01:22 PM
If he doesn't come north with the club, I will picket Falvine's offices.
    • tarheeltwinsfan, MN_ExPat, HrbekRules and 1 other like this

Back when the Twins first signed him in November 2017, I noted that Astudillo made some changes to his swing in the minors before having a career year in the Braves org.

While he doesn't have a big leg kick or obvious power generator, he now has a fully connected swing whereas his top and lower half acted more independently in his previous swing.



It's a more connected kinetic chain. I liken it to something that Bruce Lee talked about in his one-inch punch -- working the power from the ground up in the proper sequence -- and you can generate a ton of power in a small space.

fB70GiI.gif



Pitch is in a different spot, but his first swing shows the bat leading the way. Classic keep the bat in the zone contact swing. The 2nd shows lower hands and better swing trajectory. He's trusting his wrists and eyes to make contact and throwing his hands at the ball creating a noticeably crisper snap and more power.

Just as importantly, his teammates love him. His fans love him. He begs into games when heat waves was causing others to pull themselves out. That goes a LONG way in a 162 game season with inevitable losing skids.
    • Minny505 and MN_ExPat like this

During his 2nd go round with the Twins last year... the go round that he was allowed to play catcher. He appeared to be a decent enough defensive catcher. 

 

I'm not going to claim he's top of the pile elite but he certainly wasn't an issue behind the plate in my opinion. His position flexibility is a bonus that I love but... if he can hit with decent enough defensive skill behind the plate. He's then immediately ahead of almost every catcher in the league who typically can't hit much.  

 

I'd say primary position is catcher with the occasional starts elsewhere. 

 

Both Garver and Astudillo have options... One stays up... One in Rochester as the first call up. Choose Well Front Office... Choose Well. 

 

 

    • nicksaviking, DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan and 5 others like this
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Parker Hageman
Feb 18 2019 02:02 PM

 

Pitch is in a different spot, but his first swing shows the bat leading the way. Classic keep the bat in the zone contact swing. The 2nd shows lower hands and better swing trajectory. He's trusting his wrists and eyes to make contact and throwing his hands at the ball creating a noticeably crisper snap and more power.

 

Both pitches are on the outer-third. In the first, the armsy swing, he pulls the ball. In the second, the more connected swing, he drives it the other way. 

 

Contrary to the last sentence, he is not "throwing his hands" or "trusting his wrists" in the more recent iteration. That was what he was doing previously which zapped his power potential. It was all disconnected.

 

In both cases, the hands get to the same launch point. They start lower in the newer model but go back to the same spot to fire. 

 

Two things to focus on in this swing pattern:

 

(1) Both of these pitches are on the outer-third (fastballs). In the one on the left, he reaches with his hands (the armsy/wristy swing). In the one from last year, his hands go in, connected to his body. 

 

(2) Watch his THICC lower body work in the later one. He squats a bit before he launches his swing. He's generating power from the ground up. 

 

uKIZUzx.gif

 

In the example on the left, the hands/arms are almost disconnected from the upper half when he goes to load and fire. That makes it a more armsy swing. You can see that in his BP swings with the Phillies.

 

 

 

 

    • Jham, tarheeltwinsfan, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this
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Battle ur tail off
Feb 18 2019 02:07 PM

Yep, he's casting a bit in the older ones and doesn't look like he has much weight transfer/lower body working for him. Looks much more strong/connected in the second video. Maybe the guy has it dialed in now and we are in for some consistent power?

    • Respy and Original Whizzinator like this

Perhaps unrelated, but will be looking forward to hearing how Castro and Garver are doing with their respective recoveries. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan, MN_ExPat and Original Whizzinator like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Feb 18 2019 02:55 PM

Here's a radical idea - can he play enough at SS to be the Utility IF? We only have room for 4 position players on the bench, 3 if we keep 13 pitchers. Cave and Garver earned 2 of those spots last year, maybe even starting spots ahead of Kepler and Castro if either starts slowly. The 3rd spot is the UTL and Austin or Astudillo is number 4. Maybe Astudillo can be the backup IF and Austin can make the team at the expense of Adrianza? Can Schoop play SS once a week so Polanco can rest/work off slumps, etc. if Astudillo can't? It's only a quick flight from Rochester if Polanco gets hurt and has to go on the DL. Adrianza isn't likely to be claimed on waivers and we have Torreyes and Gordon at AAA any way, if Adrianza is gone. I say Keep Astudillo!  

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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RatherBeGolfing
Feb 18 2019 03:19 PM

President's Day always comes around and the popular thing to do is the "Mount Rushmore for topic X" especially in sports.

 

Willians is rapidly becoming an emerging candidate for the Minnesota sports cult hero Mount Rushmore

    • jkcarew likes this
The Athletic just published a great article about him.

Willians "Action Man" Astudillo belongs on a major league roster. And what better roster than the Twins, right?

 

I was surprised at how athletic he really his. That play last year where he fielded the bunt as catcher and just missed colliding with Berrios and threw the runner out at 3b while face planting was amazing. It looked awkward but he was just trying to miss Berrios while making the play and sacrificed himself to do it. Awesome.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco, DocBauer, MN_ExPat and 2 others like this

 

The two HRs today for Astudillo is one more than Miguel Sano hit in 45 at bats during winter ball in the DR

 

Of course, pitchers today were basically just throwing 80% fastballs and curveballs with a little spin on them, rather than worrying about getting hitters out. 

    • Danchat and MN_ExPat like this

Hosken Bombo Disco gonna need to change his name to Hosken Bombo Disco Tortuga.... :)

FTFY

    • Carole Keller, Monkeypaws, Hosken Bombo Disco and 1 other like this

 

Of course, pitchers today were basically just throwing 80% fastballs and curveballs with a little spin on them, rather than worrying about getting hitters out. 

 

Damnit Seth! Don't harsh my Tortuga buzz!

    • Monkeypaws, Sconnie and jkcarew like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 18 2019 04:31 PM

Willians Adrianza Torres. Austin Cave ??? "You present quite the conundrum." quoting Newman.

In the 3-man bench scenario...I don't want Astudillo over Cave as an outfield option. I don't want him to be playing the middle infield. Ever. (Can Rosario?) That leaves backup catcher. I'm not sure Astudillo is a better hitter than Garver (yes, despite the magical 97 PA last year, the amazing bat flip, and the two batting practice home runs). But if not Garver, Astudillo's in Rochester waiting for injuries or under-performance. One or the other will happen soon enough...it always does.