Asuaje is from Venezuela but attended Nova Southeastern University in Florida. After hitting .320/.441/.449 as a junior in 2013 he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round. After an excellent year in 2014 (.310/.393/.533 in A-ball) he reached Double-A in 2015 and was just so-so (.251/.331/.374), falling behind other players on the Bosox depth chart.
Traded to the Padres in the Craig Kimbrel deal, he had an excellent season in 2016 (.321/.378/.473 in Triple-A) and appeared briefly in the majors last year.
Asuaje ranked 17th on the pre-season San Diego Padres Top 20 Prospects for 2017 list with the following commentary:
17) Carlos Asuaje, INF, Grade C+: Age 25, 11th round pick by Boston in 2013 from Nova Southeastern University in Florida; traded to Padres in Kimbrel farm restock; hit .311/.378/.473 with nine homers, 49 walks, 82 strikeouts in 535 at-bats in Triple-A, went 5-for-24 in the majors; average physical tools but a quick bat with an occasional spark of power; glove steady but range limits him to second base, can also sub in the outfield; should have a long career as a utility type with a decent bat; doesn’t have Fernando Tatis or Jorge Ona’s upside but will help much sooner, so if you’re a fantasy owner adjust list accordingly. ETA 2017.
Although off to a slow start in 2017 (.222/.335/.319 in Triple-A), Asuaje made enough of an impression last year to earn another shot now with a bench spot opening up.
He is a left-handed hitter, listed at 5-9, 160, born November 2nd, 1991. The profile hasn’t changed: he’s a line drive hitter with some gap power and a good eye for the strike zone. He doesn’t make tons of errors but his physical tools limit him to second base and left field, with third base an emergency option.
Overall, Asuaje projects as a useful role player with some on-base skills.
Here’s his first major league hit from last year.