September 23, 2021

Christian Villanueva Signs With Japan’s Nippon Ham Fighters (MLB Trade Rumors)

Third baseman Christian Villanueva is headed back for a second season in Japan. He has joined the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, per a club announcement passed along by Jason Coskrey (via Twitter).

Villanueva was one of the former big leaguers we covered recently in rounding up the year’s action in Asia’s top leagues. He struggled in his single-season stint with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, slashing just .223/.325/.386 in 235 plate appearances, but obviously showed enough for the rival Fighters to give him another opportunity.

The 28-year-old Villanueva has demonstrated quite a bit more ability on this side of the Pacific. In 416 plate appearances with the Padres over the 2017-18 campaigns, he produced a .245/.303/.475 batting line with 24 home runs. And he’s a .263/.328/.457 hitter in over twelve hundred trips to the plate at the highest level of the minors.

Click here to read the whole article at MLB Trade Rumors