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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

MLB fan favorite Willians Astudillo lands with surprising team

Willians Astudillo looking on

Jun 15, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Willians Astudillo (64) talks with a teammate during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Willians Astudillo will be continuing his baseball career, albeit some distance away.

Japanese outlet Nikkan Sports reports this week that the Astudillo is signing to play with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league for the 2023 season.

Astudillo, 31, played for the Miami Marlins last season after having spent the previous three with the Minnesota Twins. Probably best described as a “super-utility man,” Astudillo had become a major MLB fan favorite in the last few years. Nicknamed “La Tortuga,” Astudillo’s unassuming build and his ability to play every single position except shortstop (including pitcher) have always made for must-watch television.

While it is a travesty that we will no longer be able to witness Astudillo’s talents in Major League Baseball, his legend may only grow in Japan. La Tortuga’s two-way escapades (especially on the mound) figure to be a perfect fit for the country that produced Shohei Ohtani.

H/T FanSided

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