News today is that Cody Asche is being promoted from AAA Lehigh Valley and conventional wisdom says it’s not to be a bench bat, which means Michael Young is likely to be dealt before the trading deadline. If Asche does indeed find himself the starting third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, all formats take notice.
Asche was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln after hitting .327/.424/.639 with 12 home runs and 27 doubles in 208 at bats. In two and a half years in the minors, he’s amassed a career .287/.343/.438 line with his best year being 2013 at AAA where he hit .295/.352/.485, totaling 15 home runs, 24 doubles, and 11 stolen bases over 404 at bats.
Listed at 6′ 1″, 180 lbs, the 23 year-old reminds me a lot of Kyle Seager in both stature and swing. Here are a few shots of his swing. One is a meatball he hit out to center, the second is a pretty good pitch down and in that he hit out to right, the third is a quick look at him versus a lefty, where he stays closed pretty nicely:
He has shown good power in the minors with an ISO hovering around .200 for the last two seasons and he’s demonstrated an ability to hit for average as well as run a little. One knock is a bit of an elevated strikeout rate at 21.3% this season at AAA. Logic would suggest that it might get a little worse on the big stage, and it may come at the expense of the batting average.
He’s certainly not going to be a world beater, but having double digit home run and speed potential while hitting something in the .275 range is likely the kind of hitter than many of you could use at third base. If forced to guess, and it appears I’m forcing myself, I’d say if given a full time role, Asche could hit something like .275/.315/.400 with five to eight home runs, and six to seven steals with runs and RBI around 20 a piece. He’s a must-add in dynasty formats if available, but I could see him being useful in standard roto leagues as well if you’re suffering at the hot corner.
Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.