Skip to main content

Asche Shines as Reading's Other Star


In the midst of a playoff race, talented first-year pro Cody Asche is shining in the shadow of a dominating figure. If not for the scorching hot bat of first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, the focus of fans and media members might be fully centered on the Phillies' 4th round draft selection from last summer.

Asche, who typically bats second in the Double-A Reading Phillies' lineup, credits his placement, batting in front of the man that folks have begun to call "Babe Ruf", with providing him chances to see beneficial offerings from opposing hurlers.

"I think I have been getting good pitches to hit, with Ruf doing what he's doing behind me. I've kind of taken the approach that all I need to do is get on base for him and really tried to simplify things at the plate," Asche said.

Ruf, Reading's big-time slugger, has been tremendous in recent weeks. In 21 August games, the 26-year-old Creighton University product has posted a .333 batting average with 14 home runs and 21 RBI.

Both Ruf and Asche have been key contributors for a Reading club that is in contention for a playoff spot in the Eastern League's Eastern division. The team currently possesses a 68-62 record and sits five games behind first place Trenton (Yankees affiliate), tied for second place with New Britain (Twins affiliate).

Asked if the race for that second playoff spot (format has division champs playing their division's second place teams in two series that each advance a winner to the championship round) is something the R-Phils are focusing on at this point, the 6-foot-1-inch 180-pound Asche quickly emphasized that the team's focus is not simply on qualifying for the postseason, but the entire roster is still targeting a division title.

"We're not racing for second. We got a chance to take the division," Asche exclaimed. "But it's all about taking things one game at a time. We're fortunate to have our longest home stand of the year (an game stretch that begins on Thursday) to help with the playoff push."

While the 22-year-old Asche is focused on making the playoffs, he also realizes there is a bigger picture that the Phillies organization cares about as well. The main goal across the board is, of course, individual player development. So, while a team is not likely to make the postseason with players that haven't progressed or performed well, the organization wouldn't care about a championship flag flying in Reading if it meant the players on that club, which the Phils have high expectations for, had not taken strides to improve.

"I'm just trying to finish strong," Asche stated. "The last month is important, not only playoff wise, but for your year as a whole."

Finishing strong is putting it mildly. Dating back to July 20th, the lefty hitting third baseman has gone 49-for-126 (.389 avg) with seven home runs and 30 RBI.

The Missouri native began his pro career last season as a member of the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters, posting a .192 average with 2 homers and 19 RBI in 68 games. Prior to joining Reading this year, Asche was named a Class A Advanced Florida State League All-Star as he tallied a .349 average with 2 home runs and 25 RBI in 62 games.

As he has moved up, a strong belief in his own skills has also seemed to play a role in Asche's string of success. The fast rising prospect says he is minimally surprised with the type of production he has put forth in his first full season in the minors after playing college ball at the University of Nebraska. And whether it's climbing the developmental ladder or striving to reach the postseason, Asche is ready for any challenge presented to him.

"I've always been confident in myself that no matter what's thrown my way, I can handle it," Asche said.

Here's hoping Asche and his teammates continue to excel this year and beyond.
__________________________________________________________

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl