Brutal Willians Astudillo Error Nearly Costs His Dominican Team a LIDOM Finals Win

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the pudgy 225-pound right-handed utility player that grabbed the hearts of Minnesota Twins fans everywhere a few years ago? Now 32-years-old, Willians Astudillo hasn’t played in the MLB since his one-year stint with the Miami Marlins in 2022.

Related: Minnesota Twins Will Not Trade Polanco, Farmer or Kepler for Prospects

The past couple of months, though, Astudillo has been competing in the Dominican Republic Winter League (LIDOM), where he’s teamed up with other former Twins, including Miguel Sano, whose rocket 3-run home run on Saturday helped their squad. Estrellas Orientales, take a 1-0 lead in the LIDOM finals.

Willians Astudillo still struggling defensively

On Sunday, though, Astudillo showed why he never really caught on as a big leaguer, even though he’s a fan favorite and walking base hit. In the field, ‘La Tortuga’ doesn’t really have a position he excels at. Estrellas tried to hide him in right field on Sunday and it nearly cost them their series lead.

It was the bottom of the 6th Inning and Estrellas held a 2-0 lead. With two outs and two Tigres del Licey runners on base, Aristides Aquino hit a ‘can of corn’ pop fly out to right field. Astudillo lumbered in and seemed to get under it. But then, the ball hit off his glove without as much as a bobble… and dropped to the ground.

Despite Astudillo’s embarrassing error, Estrellas went on to win the game 4-2, to take a 2-0 series lead in the LIDOM final. It’s a best of 7 series and, just like the MLB, it is a 2-3-2 format with rotating venues. Game 3 is on today (Jan. 22) at 5:30 p.m CST and you can watch the on MLB TV.

Related: Minnesota Twins Sign Top-10 International Prospect, Daiber De Los Santos

Remembering Astudillo with the Minnesota Twins

La Tortuga played a diversified utility role with the Minnesota Twins, during his handful of seasons in the organization. When you aren’t great at any position, make sure you can play a little bit of every position. And that, along with his ability to put the ball in play and get on base, is what got Willians to the big leagues.

He even made 49 appearances for the Twins behind the dish, the second most he played of any position in his career. He played 54 games at 3rd base and 41 at 1st base with a sprinkling just about everywhere else. And when manager Rocco Baldelli needed a non-pitcher to eat some garbage time innings, he knew who to call.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: