|Yomiuri Giants – No. 33|
|Born: June 19, 1991|
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
|September 18, 2017, for the San Diego Padres|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2018 season)
|Runs batted in||53|
Christian Iván Villanueva Limón (born June 19, 1991) is a Mexican professional baseball third baseman for the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres. Villanueva won the National League's Rookie of the Month Award for April 2018.
Villanueva signed with the Texas Rangers as an international free agent on August 17, 2008. He missed the part of the 2009 season after having knee surgery. The Rangers traded Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks to the Chicago Cubs in 2012 in exchange for Ryan Dempster.
By 2014, Villanueva was blocked in the Cubs' organization by fellow third baseman Kris Bryant. Villanueva broke his right fibula during spring training in 2016 and missed the entire season. He was non-tendered on December 2.
San Diego Padres
On December 12, 2016, Villanueva signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres. Villanueva began the 2017 season with the El Paso Chihuahuas of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. He batted .296 with 20 home runs. On September 18, 2017, the Padres promoted Villanueva to the major leagues. He made his major league debut that day, starting at third base. He batted .344 in 32 at bats for the Padres.
On April 3, 2018, Villanueva hit three home runs in a game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. He was named the National League Rookie of the Month for the month of April 2018. In April he led all rookies in hits, runs scored, home runs, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and total bases. In May 2018 he tied the MLB record for most home runs for a rookie born in Mexico. On August 22, Villanueva fractured his finger while fielding 2nd base and missed the remainder of the season.
On November 20, 2018, the Padres designated Villanueva for assignment and sold his contract to the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League. The next day, he officially signed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Giants.
Villanueva and his wife had a son, Christian Jr., in 2017.
- "Rangers Add Dempster Right Before Deadline Buzzer". baseballamerica.com. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Sanders, Jeff (September 18, 2017). "Padres' Villanueva relishing culmination of long journey to majors". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- "Rangers land Dempster in trade with Cubs". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- "The man behind Kris Bryant in the Cubs organization". Desmoinesregister.com. May 27, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- "Chicago Cubs prospect Christian Villanueva suffers broken right fibula - MiLB.com News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Miles, Bruce (December 2, 2016). "Cubs sign relief pitcher, tender contracts". dailyherald.com. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Eddy, Matt (December 24, 2016). "Minor League Transactions: Dec. 10-22". baseballamerica.com. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- "Christian Villanueva touching all bases (and short) for Padres". The San Diego Union-Tribune. March 2, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- "Christian Villanueva hits 3 homers to give Padres first win of 2018. In postgame interviews, Padres manager <Andy Green> said, "Villanueva reminds me a lot of (Hall of Famer) <Vladimir Guerrero.> The swing, the bat speed, he has the whole package. We found ourselves a diamond in the rough."". MLB. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "Villanueva placed on DL; season in doubt". mlb.com. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
- "Refuerzo de lujo para los Yaquis: Christian Villanueva llega a Cajeme". tribuna.com.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- Karraker, Patrick (November 20, 2018). "Padres' Christian Villanueva designated for assignment, to be sold to Japan". mlbdailydish.com. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Yomiuri acquires former Padres infielder Christian Villanueva". The Japan Times. November 21, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.