By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has been a busy past 15 months for third baseman Cody Asche.
A fourth-round pick of the Phillies in the 2011 MLB Draft, Asche started the 2012 season in Clearwater with the Single-A Threshers. After hitting .349 there, he was promoted to Double-A Reading in June where he proceeded to hit .300. That earned him the opportunity to start 2013 with the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the 23-year-old University of Nebraska product hasn’t missed a beat, hitting .280 in 63 games this season.
“I’ve felt comfortable everywhere I’ve been,” Asche tells KYW Newsradio about his rapid move up the organizational ladder. “We’ve got a lot of great players in this organization, a lot of great coaches and a lot of great upper-level staff guys that help you out a lot and make the transition real easy.”
Asche went 1-4 in a Thursday night win over Scranton Wilkes-Barre in Allentown, extending his hitting streak to nine games. He has hit six home runs and knocked in 39 runs so far in 2013.
“Swinging the bat well, making improvements,” Lehigh Valley hitting coach Sal Rende tells KYW Newsradio. “He works right, he knows what he’s doing. He knows what his swing feels like and when it’s wrong he can make little adjustments in the game. He’s got some talent. He’s a competitor and he’s got a drive to be good.”
Asche says his focus these days is consistency.
“Especially with at-bats, not giving at-bats away,” Asche says. “Making sure you get a good pitch to hit every at-bat. And I think once you start doing that, you get consistent numbers in return.”
Now Asche started his pro career playing second base in 2011, but he was soon switched over to the hot corner and he has proven to be a very good glove man.
“He’s made some big strides defensively,” Rende says. “I think he’s gotten more comfortable over there and he’s done a really nice job using his feet and getting ready.”
Obviously by being in AAA, Asche is just a phone call away from the big leagues and he now plays his home games about 65 miles from Citizens Bank Park, but he says he isn’t getting distracted by what could be coming down the road.
“I think it’s easy to stay in the moment here,” Asche says. “To be honest, I think it’s just part of being a minor-league player, you’ve got to understand you’re at the place you’re at for a reason and there is work to be done. When you take that approach I think it’s easy to stay in the moment and get your work done.”
Asche and the Iron Pigs continue their series with Scranton Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.