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.