Astudillo got the start at catcher and hit ninth Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with a solo home run in a 4-3 win over the Cleveland.
His third-inning shot off Adam Plutko got the Twins on the board, and gave Astudillo his first career big-league homer. The 26-year-old is still only slashing .269/.296/.462 through his first 11 games in the Show, but Minnesota has little to lose by giving him regular playing time in September to see if he can factor into the organization's plans for 2019 and beyond.
To make room for the returning Logan Morrison (hip), Astudillo heads back to Rochester. The 26-year-old thrives on making contact but failed to make a big dent in his 19 major-league plate appearances (.263/.263/.368), though he'll return to build on a .290/.321/.489 Triple-A slash, which has been amplified by a stellar combo of seven homers and six stolen bases in 188 plate appearances. The 26-year-old's defensive versatility (catcher, second base, third base, outfield) will keep him on Minnesota's list of shuttle riders this season should another spot open up.
Astudillo will be promoted to the major-leagues for the first time in his career Friday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Astudillo will be up to replace the injured Taylor Motter (concussion). The 26-year-old is one of the most unique players in affiliated baseball. His ability to make contact is incredible, as he's struck out a grand total of 76 times in nine minor-league seasons (good for a 3.2 percent strikeout rate). He can't really do anything else, though, as his defense has generally graded poorly and he's possessed little power, though the latter may be changing as he's posted a .517 slugging percentage in 85 games at the Triple-A level over the last two seasons. The Twins (Astudillo's fourth organization) will finally give the world the chance to see if his profile plays at the major-league level.
Astudillo is impressing the Twins' organization at Triple-A Rochester and is on the doorstep of the majors after Jason Castro went down for the year with a torn meniscus, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Astudillo has one of the most fascinating profiles of any player in affiliated baseball. Over nine minor-league seasons, the round-bodied catcher has a remarkable 3.1 percent strikeout rate. Getting the bat on the ball is more or less all he can do, though, as he's combined a .309 batting average with a 3.4 percent walk rate and a .092 ISO. Still, that's a solid offensive profile for a catcher, but the problem is that Astudillo is a catcher in name only, having earned poor reviews defensively throughout his career. The Twins have had him catch almost exclusively in the minors this season, though, and he's now just one injury away from finally getting a chance to see if his profile plays at the major-league level.
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