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Article: 2018 Twins Highlights: Super Rosario and La Tortuga

eddie rosario willians astudillo
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:45 PM

With the baseball season being so long, a down year can really drag on a fan. On the plus side, playing 162 games generates plenty of memorable moments, even in a forgettable season. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a look back and sharing some of my favorite highlights from the 2018 season.

Today we’ll take a look back at a couple guys who provided plenty of excitement: Eddie Rosario and Willians Astudillo.Both Rosario and Astudillo were already featured in the first installment of this 2018 Twins Highlights series, which took a look back at the walk-off wins.

The 2018 season may eventually be remembered as the year Joe Mauer hung ‘em up (don’t worry, I’ll get to him in this series a little later), but the one player who consistently made me glad that I kept tuning in was Eddie Rosario.

Earlier this month, we crowned Rosario Twins Daily’s 2018 Most Valuable Player, he was also the team’s most electric player to watch this season. Super Rosario, as he was portrayed on a T-shirt from Sota Stick, led the team in virtually every offensive statistic and was a superhero on the bases and in the field.

Rosario is among the most aggressive players in the league, and sometimes that risk-taking mentality gets him burnt, but he seems to be getting a better feel for when to put the pedal to the medal as his career has progressed.

Get your popcorn ready. Here’s a look back at some of his memorable plays on the bases …

… in the field …

… and a collection of all his best throws from the outfield.

Unfortunately, Rosario’s year was cut short in mid-September by a quad injury, but by then a new, unlikely hero had emerged: La Tortuga. Willians Astudillo appeared in fewer than 30 games with the Twins this season, but somehow managed to amass the equivalent of a full year’s worth of highlights. Here's a couple minutes of Astudillo that's sure to brighten up your day.

I don’t have a highlight package to share for him, but I feel Eduardo Escobar deserves an honorable mention in this sort of highlight player of the year conversation we’re having. Prior to being dealt to the Diamondbacks, Esky was a joy to watch. He was cracking doubles at a historic pace and battled his tail off every day.

That does it for this week’s look back at 2018, make sure to let me know in the comments who your favorite player was to watch this season.

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#2 Einheri

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:53 PM

Hopefully we'll get to see Rosario, Astudillo, and Escobar again in 2019 on the Twins.

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#3 DocBauer

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 10:40 PM

I absolutely love Rosario, and will positively live with a few gaffes once in a while for all he does and all of his production. Despite an occasional bad play in the OF...remember be was playing on a bad wing in 2017 as well...he is a fine OF. I am NOT tooting my own horn, but I remember a couple years ago when some were talking about Rosario as a bust who should be moved, or how he was no better than a nice 4th OF. I cautioned patience, and stated that if I were another team looking to make a trade with the Twins, Rosario would be at the top of my demands. And look now what he has become, and is still developing in to. Just a shame he didn't get to finish out the season.

Off target slightly, but I feel exactly the same about Kepler. This young man was behind other kids his age when signed. He practically skipped AAA ball. He has a good eye, makes good contact, oozes athletic ability, and hits laserbeams off his bat with solid contact. If he balances his weird splits from years 1-2 and year 3, he could be poised for a real breakout in 2019.

Astudillo, as I've said before, is not just a great story, though he certainly is. There is just no way to know who and what he is, or could be. But isn't that really the story of his career thus far? Primarily a catcher with some decent positional flexibility, he was known as the super high contact don't SO but don't BB high average hitter who had some memorable no look pick off throws to 1B. Even the Twins, like his previous employers, didn't know what they had. How can a short, squatty receiver with positional flexibility and no true offensive profile they are used to measuring be a real prospect? They used him at catcher, then moved him off the dish to audition someone else after the Castro injury and Wilson promotion. When they brought him up, it was for his flexibility and a contact bat off the bench. FINALLY, they put him behind the plate again and gave him a chance.

And what did they find? SSS I grant. But they actually found a guy, with budding power at age 26, who could actually make contact and hit at the ML level just like he has done his entire milb career. He could also actually catch, and fill in here and there at other positions solidly.

Sometimes, a player just doesn't fit an arcitype a team wants or expects. And then that player gets an opportunity to show what they really can do. I have no illusions Astudillo will suddenly earn a starting job behind the plate, or elsewhere, and emerge as a batting leader or All Star candidate. But the Twins may have stumbled on a very good role player who can bring a lot of value. To not protect him, to not take him seriously at this point, would be a big mistake.
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"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#4 Danchat

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 10:54 PM

I love the compilations, Tom. Good stuff. These two made a mediocre season watchable.

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#5 Doctor Wu

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:21 AM

Great writeup! Watching those Astudillo highlights has made my weekend much more tolerable (I manage a retail store and those days can take their toll on my mood!). Thank you!

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#6 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:22 AM

Eddie and Willians are baseball players.

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Trust everybody ... then cut the cards.


#7 rdehring

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:09 AM

Great story, Tom, thanks.And I for one am looking forward to Astudillo being part of this team in 2019 and beyond.There is so much about him that reminds me of Kirby Puckett, fireplug body type, excitement, outgoing personality, and results.And he can do an acceptable job at three positions, in addition to catcher.Gotta love him.

 

I have been a big fan of Rosario since he and Sano battled for the HR championship back in Elizabethton...a battle Rosario won.Have continued to like and support him while many here and elsewhere were, to say it kindly, more than down on him.So I look forward to him signing that big extension this winter so God willing, I can continue to watch him for the next four or five years.

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#8 Doomtints

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:48 AM

 

I absolutely love Rosario, and will positively live with a few gaffes once in a while for all he does and all of his production. Despite an occasional bad play in the OF...

 

Rosario has better defensive numbers than Kirby Puckett. Every player has "gaffes."

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#9 sampleSizeOfOne

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:08 AM

Thanks for the high lights as well.

Many of 'em i only read about in game threads while doing other things.
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#10 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:30 AM

Love these 2 guys. Rosario right now, is the best player on this team. 

 

Austudillo, still not sure what to make of him. But I am 100% certain he should be on this roster next year. In spite of being a little chubby, the guy is a good athlete and is a ballplayer. 

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#11 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:41 AM

A fan of both players to be sure. 

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#12 dbminn

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 11:46 AM

I'm a big fan too. They both have such great balance and hands at the plate - beyond what can be taught. Neither has reached their upside.

 

 


#13 PDX Twin

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 12:21 PM

What could Sano do if he got into shape like Astudillo? :)

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It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#14 Tom Froemming

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 02:45 PM

 

Hopefully we'll get to see Rosario, Astudillo, and Escobar again in 2019 on the Twins.

Yes, please.

 

Eddie and Willians are baseball players.

That's a fact!

 

 

Great story, Tom, thanks.And I for one am looking forward to Astudillo being part of this team in 2019 and beyond. 

LIFETIME CONTRACT!!! Now that I've had baseball with Willians Astudillo, I'm not sure if I can ever go back to baseball without Willians Astudillo :)

 

 

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#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 04:05 PM

LIFETIME CONTRACT!!! Now that I've had baseball with Willians Astudillo, I'm not sure if I can ever go back to baseball without Willians Astudillo :)

2k1yyo.jpg

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Trust everybody ... then cut the cards.


#16 Nine of twelve

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:11 PM

I am hopeful Astudillo can become an important part of this team but I'm not sold just yet. After the 2013 season I was hopeful Josmil Pinto would become an important part of this team


#17 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 11:13 AM

Thanks Tom for this story and especially for compiling these great memories for us to watch again and again.. Give me 9 players with the skills and hearts of Rosario, Astudillo, Escobar and I'll pay money to watch this team compete.

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#18 snotboogie

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 03:33 PM

Thanks for putting a smile on my face.It would have been a little bigger if Tortuga's walk off against KC was included: )


#19 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 05:39 PM

 

Thanks for putting a smile on my face.It would have been a little bigger if Tortuga's walk off against KC was included: )

What a great moment for him! That, and Rosie's walk-off, were both featured on the first "episode" of this series. Check it out: 2018 Twins Highlights: Walk-Off Wins

 

Will be laying down another round of highlights later this week.




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