Cover Photo: Getty Images
As a career Minor League Baseball player, not much was expected of catcher Willians Astudillo when the Minnesota Twins initially brought him to the Majors late last season. His initial call up didn't raise many eyebrows, but if his performance during his second stint in the Majors is any indication, Astudillo could be a nice fantasy baseball sleeper
Anything close to that slash line in 2019, plus the fact that he rarely strikes out, combine to
Willians Astudillo is now hitting .350 with more homers (3) than strikeouts (2) in 25 games, and tonight is his 15th straight game without a strikeout. https://t.co/J621Y9NA4g— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) September 27, 2018
The Venezuelan sensation struck out just three times last season. That's right, three times in 97 plate appearances. Granted, it's a small sample size, but those contact numbers are no fluke. In parts of nine seasons in the minor leagues, Astudillo struck out just 81 times in 2,461 plate appearances.
Clearly, the low-strikeout rate and plate discipline bode well for points leagues and 5x5 formats, but Astudillo has positional value as well. He may primarily be a catcher by trade, but the Twins could get creative in order to keep his bat in the lineup. In addition to playing behind the plate, Astudillo made six appearances at third base, two at second base and even spent time in the outfield last season.
Oh, and he even pitched an inning too.
Twins sent down Willians Astudillo.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) July 22, 2018
Such a weird first MLB stint. He played left field and center field in his debut, started games at third base and second base, pitched mop up, got just one start in his final 14 games, and heads back to the minors without even playing catcher. pic.twitter.com/Q16vdayeft
With an average draft position (ADP) outside 240, Astudillo can be had in the 20th round or later in fantasy drafts. He has made his presence felt in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason and should be a late-round target for fantasy owners looking for a cheap catcher. If Astudillo just so happens to fall in your lap in the late rounds of your draft, snatch him up without hesitation.
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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.