We all know that Cody Asche has had a strong 2013 season from an offensive standpoint — .293/.351/.460 with 10 HRs, 35 XBH, 45 runs, 56 RBI, and even 10 stolen bases in 91 games for the AAA-Iron Pigs — but the casual fan wants to know if his all-around game is strong enough to make him a mainstay at the big league level.
It’s true that Asche has made a fair few errors this year at third base this year for Lehigh Valley, but I think that number masks how good of a defensive third baseman Cody Asche really is.
When a third baseman makes plays deep behind the bag and throws out the runner, barehands a slow bouncer up the line or dives to cut a ball off in the third base-shortstop hole, it always goes down as a 5-3. The number’s don’t dictate how many balls a player gets too and makes the play on that most third basemen in the league do not make. That’s certainly the case with Asche. Sure, he makes some bad errors, but he also might make an error on an errant throw on a ball that there is no way he should have even gotten too in the first place. He might have 10 errors, but he also easily has at least 15 or 20 plays that other third basemen might not have made, so despite the error number being high, he is actually making more plays than most of the third baseman in the International League.
The other thing to consider is that this is only his second full season in minor league ball as a third baseman, and first at Triple-A, where the game gets even faster. He came from second base, where the ball is not hit to you as hard nor do you have a far throw to first. I think as he gets more and more time playing at third he will grow into it even more. Personally I think he is as close as you can get to big league ready in the field and at the dish.
-Don McGettigan also contributed to this post.