Just one day after being named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team along with teammates Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, and Austin Hedges, El Paso Chihuahuas second baseman Carlos Asuaje has received an even more prestigious honor. Today he was declared the PCL Rookie of the Year. Along with his first year in AAA, this was also Asuaje's first year in the Padres organization after coming over from the Red Sox system with Margot, Logan Allen, and Javier Guerra in the Craig Kimbrel trade.
After splitting his time nearly equally between second base, third base, and left field his first two years in the minors, Asuaje has settled in at second base over the past two seasons. This year, spent entirely with El Paso, he has started 108 games at second, compared to just three at third and five in left field.
Unlike the slugging Renfroe, Asuaje's splits do not skew in favor of his home games. In 285 plate appearances in El Paso, he is hitting .323/ .384/ .427 with 13 doubles, five triples, and a homer. In a nearly identical 286 trips to the plate on the road, Asuaje has slashed .322/ .492/ .864 with 17 doubles, five triples, and six homers. The lefty swinger has hit for higher average and reached base at a higher clip versus left-handed pitchers, but has slugged righties a bit harder.
Barring the unforeseeable, Padres fans can expect to see Asuaje in Petco Park this September. Exactly when he gets there depends on how far the Chihuahuas go in the playoffs, as the organization has prioritized the postseason experience.