The Arizona Fall League is in full swing and Phils third base prospect Cody Asche (pronounced ASH-ee) is leading the way for the Peoria Javelinas.
Last year’s 4th round draft selection out of the University of Nebraska posted a .324 batting average with 12 homers and 72 RBI through 130 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double A Reading in his first full season as a pro this year.
Thus far in five games, playing for the Javelinas, Asche is sporting a .375 average with four doubles, three RBI and two runs scored.
This week, Cody answered some questions, sharing his thoughts on the AFL, the Phillies’ new hitting coach Steve Henderson and plenty more. Read ahead to check out that full interview.
- What are your early thoughts on playing in the Arizona Fall League and the competition there?
It is a great experience. You get to play against organizations and players that you haven’t seen before. The competition is great. Everyone playing is here for a reason.
- Many players from last year’s Arizona Fall League made their MLB debuts this year. Clearly that ultimate goal must always be in the back of your mind, but does an experience like this make you feel legitimately closer to the big show?
Not really, no. I do know the track record of players in the AFL, but they weren’t called up because they played in this league. No matter what you do, you will have to go prove yourself everyday, no matter what league you are in. You have to go out and earn your call-up.
- You’re playing with Peoria under your Reading manager Dusty Wathan. Does that make things easier for you, already knowing him well and having a good relationship with him?
It definitely does. It’s always good to go into a new experience with familiar faces. It’s nice for us Phillie guys to have one of our managers here, since we know what they expect of us, and we are familiar with how they coach.
- Clearly, the Arizona Fall League is a big opportunity for the players to get noticed, but the game results might not be that important to everyone. How seriously do players out there take the league?
I think everyone takes the games pretty seriously. Its definitely an opportunity to refine skills. I think all the players realize that and are out here working on what they need to work on everyday. It would be a disservice to yourself if you did not take this league seriously.
- Steve Henderson, who was promoted to the big league Phillies’ coaching staff last week, is very well liked by players and is credited with helping your breakout this year. Thoughts on Hendu? And how much help was he to your career?
Hendu is a great guy and a great coach. He as helped me tremendously, since I was drafted. I couldn’t be more happy for him. He will do a great job with the big league guys.
- Following the AFL season, what are your plans for the off-season?
I will be back in St. Louis for a while. Then probably make my way down to Clearwater, for spring training, sometime in early February or late January.