The San Diego Padres’ rookie third baseman, Christian Villanueva, is coming off a spectacular month of baseball. Now he gets the chance to show off his skills at home.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are set to kick off a weekend series in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s the first time the team has returned to play a series there since they faced off against the Mets in 1996.
But besides what should be a Dodgers-heavy audience, the hometown crowd is undoubtedly more excited to see the return of one of their own who has been having a spectacular start to his rookie season in San Diego, Christian Villanueva.
Over the past month, Villanueva has dazzled, putting up a slash line of .299/.384/.667 with an OPS of 1.051. He leads the team in WAR with 1.4, with Eric Hosmer not far behind at 1.3.
San Diego Padres couldn’t be happier with Villanueva’s production
The 26-year-old rookie originally hails from Guadalajara, MX. After dealing with some injuries, and bouncing around within the Cubs organization for the past few years, he’s finally been given his chance to shine with the Padres.
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He’s had to deal with lingering in the shadows of Kris Bryant, which led the Cubs to release him at the end of 2016.
And at the same time, he had to endure the personal loss of his brother that very same spring.
But in spite of all these setbacks, Villanueva pushed forward.
His success a byproduct of never allowing any of those bumps in the road to stop him from getting to where he is right now.
In an article from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Villanueva was quoted saying:
"“I always give 100 percent, but there’s going to be something special and an extra energy playing in front of your people and representing Mexico on a big stage. I can’t even imagine what it is going to be like.”"
It’s going to be electric. There are few things a hometown crowd loves more than seeing one of their own reach the top of his or her personal mountaintop.
Especially someone who’s thrived the way Villanueva has over his first month in MLB. He’s been named the honorary ambassador for the series but remains humble in regards to the title and his success.
It’s fitting for the young slugger. Who lets his on-field ability do most of the talking for him. And if he continues this hot streak over the weekend, Monterrey will have plenty to cheer about come Friday night.