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Am I Still Excited About Willians Astudillo?

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#41 big dog

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 11:56 AM

 

You have the same access to the data that I do. 

 

1) Go to baseball-reference.com.

2) Look up Astudillo. The good macro stats to look at for comparison to others are OPS+, WAR, dWAR (i.e., no cherry picking specific stats).

3) Pull up the 87 and 91 teams and look at the same macro stats.

 

It's a 5 minute exercise, or less.

He probably compares well to the last people on a lot of good teams if you go back 20 years. How does he compare to players who won the WS the last 3 years? When you do that, using your five-minute exercise, he compares to guys who got in 20-30 games, or were exceptional fielders who played slightly more games especially as defensive replacements. I would expect the 13th field player to get a lot more action than that, especially with Baldelli.

 

Keep him in the minors and when we have injuries he can come up for a week at a time so that people can be entertained. I guess.

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#42 MMMordabito

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 11:59 AM

I'm an Astudillo fan.We call him Build-A-Bear in my circles.

 

I hope he gets that 26th spot, and I agree with the posts above that state he's a good fit for that part of the roster.

 

With Rosario gone, the team needs some of the other animated or different players to keep it fun.Astudillo, along with Arraez, Cruz (love the robe), Donaldson and Dobnak (in his own way) are the ones that I think will be the foundation for fun.I hope some others pop up over the course of the season.

 

The Twins have plenty of players that can take care of the SABR-$h!t. 

 

It's a long season, and the Twins aren't going to win the World Series every year.That doesn't mean it won't happen this year, or that the journey can't be a good time.

 

If the Twins don't make the playoffs, or don't play meaningful games in September, or get swept in round 1, and someone can prove that having Astudillo occupying the 26th spot on the roster is to blame, I will gladly net (can't discharge a firearm where I live) a crow on my lawn and roast it up for an evening meal.

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#43 wsnydes

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 12:03 PM

I'm pretty much over the La Tortuga experiment.That said, he does seem to be the perfect roster fringe type guy that you can basically use in an emergency in a number of spots. 

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#44 Dodecahedron

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 12:21 PM

 

He probably compares well to the last people on a lot of good teams if you go back 20 years. How does he compare to players who won the WS the last 3 years? When you do that, using your five-minute exercise, he compares to guys who got in 20-30 games, or were exceptional fielders who played slightly more games especially as defensive replacements. I would expect the 13th field player to get a lot more action than that, especially with Baldelli.

 

Keep him in the minors and when we have injuries he can come up for a week at a time so that people can be entertained. I guess.

 

I don't see the problem. Astudillo will probably play 30 games too.

Y'all keep thinking you are making zingers or something, but you're just confirming his place on the team.

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#45 Vanimal46

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 12:38 PM

I'm pretty much over the La Tortuga experiment. That said, he does seem to be the perfect roster fringe type guy that you can basically use in an emergency in a number of spots.


Concur. As long as he has the option year left there’s no harm having him on the fringe. He would also be one of my first position player DFAs if there’s a better alternative available during the season. Next season when he’s out of options or the new CBA dictates new rules is when I would cut ties.
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#46 Loosey

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:05 PM

My question would be who's spot would he reasonably be taking if he was the 26th man?Likely not a prospect since I'm guessing the 26th man will get a hand full of at bats every week or so.So who would be a better player to have as a utility type guy who you know can perform at an expected level while getting maybe 120 at bats during a season?I can't think of anyone on the current 40 man who fits that mold. Maybe they find a true corner infielder who can be a real backup to Donaldson and Sano, but outside of that i think La Tortuga at least starts the season with MLB club.Addtionally, he has had COVID, so he may still have anti-bodies and that possibly could be looked at as a favorable thing since it's one less medical/COVID issue the team may have to rely.Again, who knows if he still has anitbodies and how well they work long-term, etc, but odds are it has some protection and one less player to worry about.

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#47 Danchat

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:05 PM

 

What I don’t get is how Marwin, who is twice the player that this guy ever will be, is vilified by most posters, and this guy is seen as a legitimate backup.

Marwin's numbers in Houston were inflated by cheating, which assisted him in getting a $21M deal from the Twins, and then hit just .211 as a near-full time starter in 2020. Astudillo was better at the plate (over a smaller sample size) and is playing at the minimum salary. I don't think the comparison is all that similar.

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#48 PopRiveter

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:08 PM

There's no chance Willians is the 26th man. I am confident of this because I enjoy watching him play. This FO has apparently connected sensors to my heart and applied the following if/then logic:

if Reed enjoys watching a player succeed,then that player must be voted off the island.

 

The good news in all this is that I just found where I can watch Venezuelan games with players that I care about!

 

I'll be over there while my friends (all you current Twins fans) get amped for a season of J.A. Happ pitching 5 1/3 solid innings/outing, Max Kepler looking to improve on his career .237/.319/.444, Josh Donaldson getting paid to nurse another injury, etc.


#49 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:10 PM

I guess where I stand is that while I understand that he can hit anything he swings at, he has to learn to not swing at stuff that he cannot hit well. That will do more to keep him in the big leagues than any of the personal stuff about him that myself and everyone else greatly enjoys.

 

Like a few others here, as the occasional depth piece, why not?But getting a large number of at bats for a contending team is not a good thing unless he managed to catch some lightening. His defense is already suspect, and his bat isn't good enough to make up for that... so other than the occasional spot start or pinch hitting opportunities, I hope we don't see a ton of him unless he finds that lightening.

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#50 Nick Nelson

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:27 PM

 

What I really found interesting is that Nick yelled "our beautiful baby" at the tv over a roly poly catcher, and his GF still married him? :)

It's a true miracle. 

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#51 Nick Nelson

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:28 PM

 

Well written and thoughtful article. I agree 99.9 % with everything you wrote. In fact, it reminded me of some the great Sports Illustrated articles which I have read in the past.

Wow, that is a lofty compliment. Thank you!


#52 nicksaviking

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:50 PM

I really thought there was going to be more of a need for a pinch hitter in situations where you only need to put the ball in play.

 

That just is a less common occurrence that it seems it should be. 

 

My enthusiasm sure has faded, but if he's going to be the 3rd catcher than I guess I don't really care. I suppose I'd rather have his unique (even if largely unneeded) skillset than carry a Bobby Wilson or Juan Graterol.


#53 DocBauer

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 02:10 PM

I'm a fan. I enjoy watching him and rooting for him. But I have no illusions as to who he is and what his ceiling is. He is an OK glove...not a good glove...pretty much wherever you place him. He can make contact and hit with some pop as long as his free swinging style doesn't get grossly and maddeningly expanded. (Which it did a few times previously).

Someone is going to take his roster spot in the not too distant future. But he is a good fit for the last guy on the bench who plays a couple times a week or comes in late if you're shuffling the lineup.

But for now I'm more than OK with him as that 26th man. I'm also OK if they have someone they like better. Just not sure who that would be at the moment.
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#54 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 02:25 PM

I don't want Blankenhorn or Larnach only playing once or twice a week. They need to play almost every day in the minors to get them ready for the big leagues. Telis is a far better catcher and hitter than Astudillo, but Astudillo being versatile (even if not good at any of those spots) is probably more valuable as the 26th man. 

 

This is where I am, EXCEPT that I like Blankenhorn, Gordon, Larnach and maybe even Tomas Tellis as the 26th man over Astudillo. The 26th man on this team is gong to paly once or twice a week and perhaps more with the injury concerns we have for Buxton, Donaldson, Arraez, and Cruz. And it's only those 4 if we assume that the ankle injuries that Simmons and Polanco have had the last couple of years don't rear their ugly heads.  

 

Why does the 26th man matter? Because they ALL matter if you want to compete for a championship. Not only that, they all matter when you have a starting/UTL group that has shown injury problems in the past. 

 

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#55 chpettit19

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 02:27 PM

In 2019 the best offenses got about 7000 PAs for the year (only Houston had more than that at 7078). That's 778 PAs per spot in the lineup. For ease of numbers let's do 775 PAs per position.

 

DH: Cruz 600

C: Garver 375, Jeffers 375

1B: Sano 600

2B: Polanco 600

3B: Donaldson 600

SS: Simmons 600

LF: Kiriloff 600

CF: Buxton 600

RF: Kepler 600

 

That's a reasonable estimate of what the Twins can expect on average (Buxton clearly high, but others low and am just trying to make it easy on the math). So of the 7000 PAs those 10 guys are covering all but 1450 PAs. I have to assume they're going to want to get Arraez basically the same amount of work as the rest of those guys so that's another 600. So their main 11 guys are covering all but 850 PAs with them averaging about 120 games each(7000 PAs averages out to about 5 PAs per game per lineup spot so 600 PAs is about 120 games).

 

That is a general way to account for some minor injuries here and there, some regular scheduled rest, and a major injury or 2 (looking at you Buxton). That's 1320 games played/started by those 11 guys. Out of 1458 total games played for the 9 lineup spots. We're left with 138 starts and 850 PAs for 4th OF, 26th man, and injury call ups. Have to assume Cave gets about about 75 starts (had 91 in 2018 and 72 in 2019) which gets him 375 PAs. So now we're at 63 starts and 475 PAs for 26th man and injury call ups. 

 

Let's assume Astudillo is our 26th man for the sake of this argument. Let's also assume Rooker, Larnach, Gordon, and Blankenhorn get some PAs and starts this year. If a catcher goes down it's a toss up between Astudillo getting some spot starts, Rortvedt getting called up, or Telis getting a shot (Astudillo DFA'd then?). But, assuming no long term injuries to Garver or Jeffers, those last 63 starts and 475 PAs are split between Astudillo, Rooker, Larnach, Gordon, and Blankenhorn. 5 guys for 63 starts and 475 PAs.

 

If (when) Buxton gets hurt they aren't sliding Kepler to CF, putting Cave in one corner opposite Kirilloff and moving Astudillo to the 4th OF spot. Astudillo gets no more ABs because of a Buxton injury. They call up Rooker or Larnach to platoon/compete with Cave. So Astudillo is still not vital to team. And it raises Cave's, Rooker's and/or Larnach's start and PA total, not Astudillo's. If Donaldson goes down Arraez gets plugged in and Blankenhorn or Gordon get called up to serve as 5th IF. So it raises their start and PAs numbers. Same scenarios for any OF or IF injury just with different position changes depending on who goes down.

 

I know Baldelli likes to get guys rest, but this team is set up differently than the previous ones. They are short on veterans that demand playing time, and they have a handful of young guys on the 40 man who will be the fill ins for the backups if starters go down. But they aren't going to have those young guys sitting on the bench in Minneapolis when they could be getting every day ABs in St Paul (or other minor league locations). Rooker may platoon with Cave early, but that would mean Kirilloff is in the minors and so the 26th man spot is still open. They aren't going to have a young guy getting 1 or 2 starts a week in the bigs. They just aren't. That's terrible player development. And they have 11 guys who they want to get regular ABs (if Garver is 2019 Garver they'll want him getting more than those 375-400 PAs). They can get their regular rest while still having legit MLB starters in there every day. That, mixed with the young guys not sitting on the bench, means they're likely looking for a veteran guy who can be a start every 10 days guy. Astudillo fits that role. When injuries, or poor performance, start popping up things change. But he fits the early season "you're never really going to play cuz we need to get these 11 guys regular ABs" role. 

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#56 rdehring

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 03:35 PM

 

I don't want Blankenhorn or Larnach only playing once or twice a week. They need to play almost every day in the minors to get them ready for the big leagues. Telis is a far better catcher and hitter than Astudillo, but Astudillo being versatile (even if not good at any of those spots) is probably more valuable as the 26th man. 

Isn't it also a good idea, Seth, to have Tellis in St. Paul? I could be wrong, but doesn't he have a fair amount of big league experience and is an excellent defensive catcher? If so, he is the guy I want working with our best pitching prospects across town.

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#57 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 03:53 PM

 

Isn't it also a good idea, Seth, to have Tellis in St. Paul? I could be wrong, but doesn't he have a fair amount of big league experience and is an excellent defensive catcher? If so, he is the guy I want working with our best pitching prospects across town.

 

That is a very good point. I could see them bringing in another veteran catcher on a minor league deal who is known for his defense to work with pitchers. Rortvedt presumably starts at Wichita this year. 

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#58 big dog

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 04:54 PM

 

I don't see the problem. Astudillo will probably play 30 games too.

Y'all keep thinking you are making zingers or something, but you're just confirming his place on the team.

In 2019 there were 15 hitters who got more than 30 games. He can be the 30th player on the roster, fine.

 

If people want him on the team all year because he's entertaining, great. I'd rather win more games, that's fun too.

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#59 Scott51104

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 06:45 PM

 

I guess where I stand is that while I understand that he can hit anything he swings at, he has to learn to not swing at stuff that he cannot hit well. 

 

 so other than the occasional spot start or pinch hitting opportunities, I hope we don't see a ton of him unless he finds that lightening.

Agreed, though not too much lightening or he won't be Tortuga


#60 baul0010

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 07:27 PM

Meh.He was a fun story a couple years ago.If we are seriously trying for a title we better not be playing astudillo regularly.If we have an injury to Donaldson and our best replacement is la turtuga, we're going to be in trouble.That same logic applies all over the diamond.If it's 1st, we have Kirilloff or Rooker. Outfield help better be Larnach or Rooker. We should be in position to have better prospects fill in in case of injury.I think Astudillo should want a trade to a non-contending team that could use him.Get some at bats with the Orioles and get a payday out of it.

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