by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
By the time you are reading this Michael Young may or may not still be a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Regardless, it is hard to imagine the team recalled Cody Asche just to have him languish on the bench. Let’s take a look at Asche and his potential fantasy impact:
Age – 23-years old
Height – 6’1”
Weight – 180 lbs.
Position – Shortstop
Bats/Throws – Switch/Right
2013 Statistics (Triple-A)
.295 (119-404), 15 HR, 68 RBI, 52 R, 11 SB
Asche was on a 10 game hitting streak at the time of his recall, hitting .381 with 5 HR, 12 RBI and 7 R.
The stats at Minor League Central have not been updated since July 22 (missing the last 7 games and his recent 5 HR outburst), but that only adds to the intrigue. At the time he owned a 22.5% line drive rate, well above the league average of 18.9%. You can obviously argue tha his average is inflated (.351 BABIP), but the line drive rate does support a higher than normal mark.
After hitting .324 between Single & Double-A a year ago, there is reason to believe that he could be a .270+ hitter in the Majors. The concern is obviously the strikeout rate, which was at 21.3% at Triple-A. That mark was down in July, with 16 K over 94 AB, giving a little bit of hope.
The biggest question facing Asche is if he is going to hit for enough power in the Majors. He hit 12 HR last season, though he also had 33 doubles and 6 triples. He has started to hit for more power this season, while adding 24 doubles and 4 triples. In other words, there’s a good chance he is still developing and learning meaning more power could be on the horizon.
According to Baseball America, who ranked him 7th in the Phillies’ system prior to 2013:
“Asche always has had the hands, bat speed and plate discipline to hit. Adding a better load to his swing during instructional league in 2011 allowed him to better tap into his power. His short stroke and strong finish create loft off the barrel, though some scouts if he’ll have enough pop to profile as a regular at third base.”
His HR/OFB was at 10.8%, prior to his recent hot stretch, and he also moves into a hitter’s haven. Seeing some of the doubles turn into home runs is not out of the question and he could easily become a 20+ HR guy.
Throw in that he has stolen 10+ bases the past two seasons and the outlook continues to grow stronger.
You don’t call up a young player just to sit on the bench, do you? While he didn’t start last night you have to think that he’s up to play the bulk of the time. If Michael Young is still on the roster, you have to think that he could shift to first base, filling in for the injured Ryan Howard.
The power is developing and, despite the increase in strikeouts, he has proven that he can hit the ball hard. Reports had him as a potential .300+ hitter, though .270ish is probably more realistic this season. He does have the ability to steal a base and some more of the doubles could develop into home runs. He’s not going to get there yet (at least you wouldn’t think), but he appears to have the potential to be a .280/20/10 type of player.
Waiver Wire Guidelines:
10 Team League: Monitor, but too shallow to make a move
12 Team League: Depends on your need, but could prove worthy
14+ Team League: Must Add
NL-Only League: Must Add
Sources – Minor League Baseball, Fangraphs, Minor League Central