When the San Diego Padres made the decision to move on from Yangervis Solarte, it signified the beginning of the Carlos Asuaje era at second base. Now it’s Asuaje’s time to shine.
The 2015 MLB offseason started out with a bang. The San Diego Padres made the bold move to trade away their All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel was sent to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a collection of Boston’s finest young jewels.
Carlos Asuaje was one of the less-heralded players of the haul the Padres received in return for Kimbrel. Logan Allen, Javier Guerra, and Manuel Margot, while all developing into fine players, were considered to be the headliners of the deal (Margot, in particular).
San Diego Padres 2B Carlos Asuaje rise to the major leagues
Drafted in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Asuaje was making his way through the Boston farm system when he was traded to San Diego. In Portland (Double-A) in 2015, Asuaje performed capably (495 AB, .251/.334/.374, 8 HR, 61 RBI, 60 R, 9 SB).
The previous season, split between Greenville (Single-A) and Salem (Single-High A), Carlos Asuaje enjoyed his most prolific year to date. In 480 AB, Asuaje had 15 HR, 101 RBI, 38 doubles, 12 triples, and 8 stolen bases. His slash line was an incredible .310/.393/.533.
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In what could be the most impressive stat of that season for Asuaje, he only struck out 90 times while taking an outstanding 59 bases-on-balls.
Arguably, the San Diego Padres could be perceived as the winner of the Kimbrel trade. All four prospects they received are well on their way to majors if they’re not here already.
Craig Kimbrel is undoubtedly still one of the top closers in the game. But the haul of Margot, Guerra, Allen, and Carlos Asuaje is looking to be one of the more talented trade returns in recent history.
Can Carlos Asuaje replicate what he did for the San Diego Padres in 2017?
Carlos Asuaje, while using up his rookie status, made leaps and bounds for the San Diego Padres in 2017. In 307 AB, Asuaje had a .270 BA while getting on base at a .334 clip. His strikeouts were a bit of an issue (76 in those 307 AB), but he continued to practice patience at the plate, collecting 28 BBs.
Asuaje hit only 4 home runs last season. Though his power production may not have been what it was in the minors, as we’ve seen in the past, the jump in pitching talent going from Triple-A to the major leagues has stifled many-a-young hitter. Carlos Asuaje isn’t the first guy to have to adjust to MLB pitching and won’t be the last.
When the Padres decided to trade Yangervis Solarte to the Toronto Blue Jays, they sent a clear message to Carlos Asuaje that his time had come to assume an everyday role at second base for the San Diego Padres.
Whether Asuaje takes this opportunity and runs with it is yet to be seen. All signs, as evidenced by his continued progress and development throughout every level he’s played at, point to Carlos Asuaje adjusting just fine to everyday life in the major leagues.