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Chihuahuas Asuaje named PCL Rookie of the Year; 2nd Year in a Row for Team

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.

Reno's Michael Freeman #5 breaks up the double play throw from Chihuahuas second baseman Carlos Asuaje #2
Reno’s Michael Freeman #5 breaks up the double play throw from Chihuahuas second baseman Carlos Asuaje #2

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).

Three Chihuahuas Players, One Coach Named Triple-A All-Stars

The El Paso Chihuahuas will be well represented at the 2016 Sonic Automotive Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 13 in Charlotte, N.C. Today the Pacific Coast League announced Carlos Asuaje, Casey McElroy and Hunter Renfroe will suit up for the Pacific Coast League team against the International League All-Stars at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, home of the Charlotte Knights, the Chicago White Sox Triple-A affiliate.

Chihuahuas outfielder #2 Carlos Asuaje with the diving catch
Chihuahuas outfielder #2 Carlos Asuaje with the diving catch

Carlos Asuaje – The 24-year-old infielder will attend his third consecutive all-star game at the third different level after being named a Pacific Coast League All-Star.

Asuaje participated in the 2014 Single-A South Atlantic League All-Star Game and the 2015 Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game.

The Venezuelan-born infielder is tied for the Triple-A lead in triples with seven and is currently hitting .324 for the Chihuahuas.

Asuaje will also play in the 2016 All-Star Futures Game at Petco Park in San Diego on Sunday, July 10.

 

#5 Casey McElroy in the 70's Themed throwback jersey
#5 Casey McElroy in the 70’s Themed throwback jersey

Casey McElroy – McElroy had an explosive start to the month of May and is putting together a strong second season in Triple-A.

The 26-year-old infielder was PCL Player of the Week for May 2-8 after going 14-for-28 (.500) at the plate with nine RBIs.

He had a stretch of play in which he collected multiple hits in 12 out of 13 games and is currently hitting .306.

This is McElroy’s second minor league all-star nomination after appearing in the 2014 Texas League All-Star Game for the Double-A San Antonio Missions.

 

Chihuahuas #10 Hunter Renfroe slides in for the Triple
Chihuahuas #10 Hunter Renfroe slides in for the Triple

Hunter Renfroe – Renfroe leads all Triple-A players in home runs (18), hits (104), extra-base hits (47) and is tied with teammate Manuel Margot in runs scored (59).

Renfroe was PCL Player of the Week for April 18-24, 2016 after homering in four consecutive games.

The 24-year-old outfielder from Mississippi will play in his third minor league all-star game after previously participating in the California/Carolina League All-Star Game for High-

A Lake Elsinore in 2014 as well as the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game in 2013 for Short-Season Eugene.

Renfroe will also play in the 2016 Futures Game at Petco Park on Sunday, July 10.

These players will join infielders Jonathan Galvez and Cody Decker as Chihuahuas to play in a Triple-A All-Star Game. In 2015 at Omaha’s Werner Park, Decker became the first Chihuahua to start a Triple-A All-Star Game.

As previously announced, Chihuahuas pitching coach Bronswell Patrick, a native of North Carolina, will serve as the pitching coach for the Pacific Coast League.

The stakes of the Triple-A All-Star Game are similar to those of the MLB All-Star Game. The winning league will be rewarded as the home team for the 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee, home of the PCL’s Memphis Redbirds.

The 2016 Sonic Automotive Triple-A All-Star Game will be televised live on MLB Network at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on July 13 and the radio broadcast can be heard live on the El Paso Chihuahuas flagship station, 600 ESPN El Paso.

The Chihuahuas open a four-game homestand against the Reno Aces tonight. Tickets are still available for the series, including GECU’s Independence Day celebration games, with post-game fireworks shows on July 2 and July 3. Fans can purchase tickets at 915-533-BASE or www.epchihuahuas.com

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