Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, April 30, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0
For Willians Astudillo, it doesn’t matter what position he’s assigned to on defense, as long as his name is written in the lineup. His coaches find a way to make that happen.
Astudillo is most often manning first base for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws this season, but he is listed on the club’s roster as a catcher. The Venezuela native, who entered the season without a definitive position locked in place, has earned playing time at the plate as the ‘Claws’ most consistent batter. As a pro, he has played every infield position as well as right field and left field.
“Whatever (position) I have a chance to play, I want to help,” Astudillo asserted through an interpreter, coach Lino Connell. “I’ll feel the same about any position. Before I signed, I played a lot of infield, so changing from catcher to the infield, it’s not really a big deal.”
What is a big deal is the 22-year-old’s offensive output. Sporting a sizzling .406 average following Tuesday’s 9-4 win at Lexington, Astudillo has made it nearly impossible for the team’s manager Greg Legg to not find a spot for him on a nightly basis.
“He puts the ball in play, gives himself a chance every at bat,” Legg stated about Lakewood’s versatile leader. “He stays inside the ball. He’s found some holes. He gives you at least two good at bats every night. He’s a hot hitter right now.”
On top of his South Atlantic League leading batting average, Astudillo, who was signed as an amateur free agent in 2008, has also laced four doubles and a home run while driving in 11 runs in 17 games. His .931 OPS is also among the league leaders. Continue reading Versatile Astudillo standing out for BlueClaws