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Cardinals trade Mike Leake to Mariners for prospect

Here’s a quick look at infielder Rayder Ascanio

MLB: Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals
Mike Leake
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

On August 30th the St. Louis Cardinals traded veteran right-handed starter Mike Leake to the Seattle Mariners for minor league infielder Rayder Ascanio. Who is Rayder Ascanio? Let’s take a quick look.

Rayder Ascanio, INF: Ascanio is from Venezuela, signed by the Mariners as a free agent back in 2012. His bat is nothing special: he hit .257/.335/.316 in the Midwest League in 2016 then a combined .217/.296/.354 between the Midwest and California Leagues in 2017. He’s shown more isolated power this year, with career-best marks of 25 doubles and nine homers.

Ascanio is 21 years old and a switch-hitter listed at 5-11, 160. Given his age it is possible his bat may improve a bit more, but offense will never be his strong suit. He’s definitely a defense-first asset, with a plus throwing arm, slightly above-average range at shortstop, and decent reliability. He has limited experience at third base and second base but has looked good at both positions during brief trials.

Overall he is a Grade C prospect projecting as a utility infielder.

Check out this nifty defensive gem.