Willians Astudillo (Braves)

Name: Willians Jose Astudillo
Born: October 14, 1991
School: 
Height: 5′ 9″
Weight: 182
Bat: R
Throws: R
Twitter: 
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent on December 15, 2008 by the Philadelphia Phillies
Rule 5 Eligible: 2013
Minor League Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015

Stats: MiLB | B-Ref | Fangraphs | Baseball America | Baseball Prospectus | MLBFarm

YearLeagueGPAHRSBBB%K%BAOBPSLG
2009VSL (Rk)5620917.250.306.314
2010VSL (Rk)56219095.91.8.312.380.398
2011VSL (Rk)522201116.80.9.361.424.448
2012GCL (Rk)45153020.73.3.318.327.419
2014SAL (A-)117465424.14.3.333.366.433

Pre Signing:

Scouting Report:

All Astudillo does is make contact, and he is the best in the org at it, and might even be the best guy in pro baseball at putting the ball in play (he was in 2014).  The problem is all the other parts of the game.  He may have 30 power with his current approach, and it is hard to see him adding more without sacrificing contact.  On defense he can no longer stick at catcher, has little range, but is fairly athletic.  So far he has seen time at 1B, 3B, and LF, if he can handle all three of those positions he could be an interesting utility player.  It is a weird profile.

Rankings:

#31 Prospect in the Phillies System – Baseball America
#39 Prospect in the Phillies System – Phillies Minor Thoughts

Astudillo has the best hit tool in the Phillies minor leagues, and it is not particularly close.  He struck out in a lower percentage of his at bats than any qualified batter at any level of affiliated baseball (h/t to Carson Cistulli).  However, Astudillo finds himself at the bottom of this list because of the rest of his game.  He has some power, by nature of making so much contact, but his hitting style does not allow him to drive the baseball.  Instead there are a lot more gap doubles than home runs.  Outside his lack of power, his hitting style does not lend itself to a high walk rate, and he is not going to add any value with his legs.  On defense, Astudillo is surprisingly athletic with a strong arm, but lacks range, and the knee injury that ended his 2013 season before it began also appears to have ended his future behind the plate.  The Phillies have been looking to combat all of this by turning him into a versatile utility player, and so far he has 1B/3B/LF on his positional list.  Without the defensive value or the secondary skills at the plate, it is hard to see Astudillo ever being a major league regular.  However, if he can master enough positions defensively to competently stand at them, he could carve out a career as a very interesting bench player.  Overall, Astudillo might be one of the most unique players in baseball and one that could easily outstrip this ranking, but it will take him breaking a lot of trends and conventional wisdom.

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