After a hot start, then a flash-freeze at the plate, the San Diego Padres’ second baseman is beginning to look a little more comfortable at the plate.
Carlos Asuaje began the season well at the plate, hitting .280/.357/.360 over the San Diego Padres’ first seven games of the season (March 29-April 5).
From April 6 until April 16, eleven games, the 26-year-old Venezuelan native went a combined 5-for-39, with just four singles and a solo home run on April 9.
This past Wednesday, Asuaje laced a two-run double in a loss to the Dodgers, but it looked, to this writer at least, that his easy, level swing was getting back into form.
Carlos Asuaje is emerging from his slump
Over the last few weeks, from an outsiders perspective, Carlos Asuaje looked extremely uncomfortable at the plate and his results confirmed as much.
Whether it was extra work in the cage with the Padres’ experienced coaching staff, the abundance of viable options on the current Friars’ roster nipping at his heels, or even if it was the footsteps of Luis Urias getting closer and closer to being MLB-ready, Asuaje knew he needed to get things straight, and he’s tried admirably to do so.
Since that game versus LA, Asuaje has gone 1-for-3, 2-for-4, 0-for-3, and 2-for-4 again last night, to raise his average back up above .200 (.218), and, to be honest, he looks like a well-prepared hitter once again.
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Padres are surely hoping Asuaje will continue progressing
One can’t understate the importance of confidence in one’s own skills at the plate, or in any walk of life for that matter.
If Carlos Asuaje is feeling like himself at the plate and performing at the level he is capable of, even if he does eventually lose the starting job, he will provide a dynamic wrinkle to this team.
A career .257/.322/.347 hitter in 409 at-bats, he’s most certainly shown that he can handle a bat at this level.
Making the necessary adjustments to combat the ones that MLB pitchers have made to poke holes in his swing and approach is part of the process of being a major-league ballplayer.
In nearly 2,000 MiLB at-bats (1,909) we saw a player that got on base at a .368 clip (.809 OPS) and hit .287 with 114 doubles and 286 RBI.
The Asuaje effect on the Padres
This is clearly a player that, when comfortable, can be a game-changing player at second base. If he continues to improve and progress at the plate, it would bode very well for the perpetuity of this lineup.
Last night’s batting order, top to bottom, was eye-opening when considering how much talent is already at the MLB level for this organization.
Manuel Margot, Jose Pirela, Eric Hosmer, Christian Villaneuva, Franchy Cordero, Freddy Galvis, Asuaje, and Austin Hedges. Wil Myers will almost certainly be back in the lineup today, in turn moving someone to the bench.
With Myers in the lineup, this is one of the more intriguingly deep one-through-eights in all of baseball, in this writer’s opinion. Carlos Asuaje just adds to the allure of it all.