ROUND ROCK, Texas - El Paso Chihuahuas' second baseman Carlos Asuaje has been named the 2016 Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year, the league office announced Tuesday. This marks the second consecutive year a Chihuahua has taken home the honor, with Alex Dickerson doing so last season.
In his first year in the Padres organization, Asuaje has racked up 165 hits in 128 games - the most hits among Triple-A players and the fourth most in Minor League Baseball. The Venezuelan native has totaled 236 bases, trailing only the PCL's top two home runs hitters - Reno's Kyle Jensen and teammate Hunter Renfroe - for the league lead. Asuaje's .322 average (165-for-512) is the fourth-best in the PCL, while his 10 triples and 93 runs scored are each in the league's top three. Additionally, the 24-year-old has hit seven home runs, driven in 65 runs, stole nine bases and has an .839 OPS.
Asuaje, who entered the season as the Padres' 13th-best prospect according to Baseball America, was a day ago named the second baseman on the All-PCL Team. Over the All-Star break, Asuaje played for the World Team in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. He reached base all three plate appearances, collecting two hits and a walk. Three days later, he was the PCL's starting second baseman in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Charlotte, drawing a walk in four trips to the plate.
Asuaje's decorated season has been an extension of his four-year career. Originally selected by Boston in the 11th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the Nova Southeastern product was traded in November in a five-player deal featuring teammate Manuel Margot and current Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel. He has also been named a Mid-Season All-Star each of the previous two seasons, in 2014 with Single-A Greenville and 2015 with Double-A Portland. Also in 2014, Asuaje was tabbed a MiLB.com Red Sox Organizational All-Star and a South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star. In 458 career games, Asuaje has hit .293 (508-for-1731) with 32 home runs and 254 RBI.
The Rookie of the Year award was created in 1998 and honors a player's outstanding achievement during his first year at the Triple-A level. Balloting was conducted by the 16 field managers and media representatives across the league. Among the others to receive votes were Renfroe, Orlando Arcia (Colorado Springs) and Jaycob Brugman (Nashville).
PCL Postseason Awards Schedule:
Wednesday, August 31: Pitcher of the Year
Thursday, September 1: Most Valuable Player
Friday, September 2: Manager of the Year
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.