Lost and Found: Phillies Prospect Cody Asche
Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post.
Lost: A fourth-round draftee of Philadelphia in 2011, Cody Asche went from University of Nebraska product and legitimate Major League prospect to, well, disappointment, and in a hurry.
2011: .192/.273/.264 — 24-50 BB-K — 68 G at Class A Short-Season Williamsport
Found: For draftees who enjoyed nothing but success entering the pros, particularly those who never failed at the college level, changing their approach in the batter’s box would seem backward. So Asche stuck with what he knew in his first pro experience. That, plus the struggles of learning a new position (the Phils liked his bat so much that they moved him to a position, second base, that requires less development), resulted in those awful numbers you see above. So how did he achieve those numbers you see below? Asche learned in instructional league how to start his swing earlier and was returned to his natural spot at third base, which undoubtedly eased his mind at the plate. If not for Darin “Babe” Ruf’s season, Asche may have gotten more attention.
2012: .324/.360/.513 — 22-56 BB-K — 130 G at Class A Advanced Clearwater/Double-A Reading
So Asche was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Phils’ returns: To read the headlines is to believe that Asche is the “third baseman of the future” in Philadelphia. I wouldn’t go that far, given his 18 errors on the hot corner this season. (For what it’s worth, he’s played mistake-free defense in his first 19 Arizona Fall League games.) But the Phillies definitely like Asche’s bat. He will have to sacrifice strikeouts to hit home runs going forward, but he can also be a doubles machine that approaches the .300 level. Either way, he’ll be welcomed into the bigs, probably by the latter half of 2014.