BLUF: Tweener profile with just solid offensive projection and limited or no defensive projeciton.
The Player: Cody Asche (3B, Philadelphia Phillies) – Drafted in the fourth round in 2011 and struggled offensively in his debut that summer. Hit just .192 in 68 games with eleven doubles and two home runs. Broke out in 2012 with an aggressive promotion to High-A where he hit .349/.378/.447 in the Florida State League. Improved with a promotion to Double-A and hit .300/.360/.513 in 68 games with 20 doubles and ten home runs.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2011, Eastern League 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-1, 190): Average body. Nothing stands out overall. Decent athleticism. Physically mature, little to no projection remaining.
Hit: Smooth LH swing. Quiet stance and trigger. Doesn’t get carried away with pre-swing movements or stride. Steady head that allows for good pitch recognition and tracking. Smooth throughout. Knows the strike zone and can show disciplined approach but likes to swing. Will attack early in count and could be served by working later at times. Ball travels deep and he uses the whole field well. Not a premium hitter but consistent swing with good contact ability and should hit for a solid average. Potential .280 that has swing and miss in his game. Grade – 40/50
Power: Has bat speed and solid strength in swing. Gets pull happy when he sells out for power and ultimately swings too hard at times. Power can come naturally but nothing better than fringe-average home-run power and doubles. Has to trust hands to drive the ball the other way for extra-base power but that should come with experience/trust of swing. 12-15 home runs are possible. 25-30 doubles also possible. Max of average power overall, but won’t manifest immediately. Grade (raw power) – 30/50
Arm: Didn’t have quick release or arm strength for pivot at 2B. Has just enough arm for 3B. Won’t make many strong throws from knees or off back foot on the line. Can make strong, accurate throws when feet are set. Throws on the run lack accuracy but have enough zip. Average overall. Grade – 50/50
Fielding: Struggled at 2B in 2011. Didn’t have foot speed, range or actions to handle middle of the diamond. Lacks fast-twitch reactions to excel at 3B. Hands are fringy. Range is below-average. Won’t impress with the glove. Can make routine plays but will always have errors and just flat out won’t make some plays. Not a quality defender and best case is below-average overall defense. Footwork gets messy and leads to some problems with fielding the ball cleanly and with throws. Grade – 30/40
Speed: Shows below-average home to first times and may show fringe-average speed once underway on the bases. Little room for improved running speed. Should maintain below-average speed for a while. Grade – 40/40
Summation: Bat-first guy. Borders on bat only given defensive limitations. May be a left fielder long term. Third base defense is rough and could hold him back in reaching MLB level quickly. Just enough tools to get by at third if bat exceeds maximum projection. Solid offensive profile with good swing and approach. Chance to hit for some average and a little pop, but not ideal for corner-infield profile. Tweener profile for me. Doesn’t fit defensively where the bat would play. Doesn’t have the offensive juice to fit where the glove can work. Fringy MLB projection. Overall 4 or bench role.
Relative Risk: Low. Should reach ceiling as a bench option and is already close to it.
Future: Moved very quickly in 2012 and should start 2013 back in Double-a with a move to Triple-A very possible during the second half of next year. MLB role will be determined entirely by the offensive development but he could be a viable bench option in 2014.