- Full name Yeison Asencio
- Born 11/14/1989 in Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: R / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Asencio won the low Class A Midwest League batting title in 2012 and ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Arizona League the year before that. However, the latter feat he accomplished while playing as Yoan Alcantara, the identity he assumed to take three years off his age when he signed in 2009. Nevertheless, he played at two levels in 2013, reaching Double-A San Antonio in June. At the plate, Asencio leaves nothing in reserve, swinging at the first pitch he can handle and frequently hitting the ball hard. The definition of a bad-ball hitter, he carries a .295 average in full-season ball while striking out only once out of every 10 trips to the plate. He puts on a show with long drives to his pull side during batting practice, but in games Asencio is susceptible to pitches on the outer half because he pulls off the ball. For this reason, he may never hit for a consistently high average. An average defender in right field, Asencio has one of the strongest arms in the system and sports perhaps the quickest release in the minors. He recorded 16 assists in 2013 and 21 the year before. He's a below-average runner, with no chance to handle center field if he doesn't hit it off in right. A return engagement at Double-A awaits Asencio in 2014.
Asencio represented himself as a 16-year-old named Yoan Alcantara when San Diego signed him for $135,000 on July 2, 2009. In reality, he is Yeison Asencio and three years older than advertised, his identity having been vetted by a crooked contract investigator working for MLB. Playing as Alcantara, he pulled down the No. 1 ranking on the 2011 Arizona League prospect list. He didn't receive his visa to re-enter the United States until May 2012, but it didn't take him long to shake off the rust in low Class A. He hit .361 from July 13 onward to win the Midwest League batting title. Asencio swings at nearly every pitch he sees and barrels up most of those he can reach. A pronounced bat wag often foils his timing, but he has bat speed to spare and at least fringy power potential. Though he's a below-average runner and not the most agile defender, he makes the routine plays in right field and has a terrific arm thanks to a quick release and uncanny accuracy. He led MWL outfielders with 21 assists. Asencio's age change--he's now 23--cost the Padres an evaluation year, so they added him to the 40-man roster in November.
Minor League Top Prospects
Unheralded before arriving in Arizona, Alcantara impressed scouts and managers more than any player in the league. He has added more than 40 pounds in two years since signing for $135,000, and he draws Vladimir Guerrero comparisons for his willingness and ability to hit any pitch thrown his way. Alcantara finished strong, hitting six of his seven homers during the season's final month, and he led the AZL in runs (50), RBIs (46), extra-base hits (28) and total bases (123). Alcantara has all five tools, with his power and arm standing out the most. He keeps his hands back and barrels the ball well despite having a big swing and an unconventional approach. "It works for him," said Randy Smith, Padres vice president of player development and international scouting, "so we'll leave him alone for now." Alcantara drew just four walks in 218 plate appearances, and more advanced pitchers could exploit his aggressiveness. A solid-average runner who shows more speed once he gets going, he fits best in right field.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the San Diego Padres in 2014
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the San Diego Padres in 2013