Prospect Asencio claims batting title at Class A

Prospect Asencio claims batting title at Class A

Prospect Asencio claims batting title at Class A
LOS ANGELES -- Fort Wayne outfielder Yeison Asencio captured the batting title for the Padres' Class A affiliate on Monday, becoming the first player in the organization to win a full-season batting title since Chase Headley hit .330 for Double-A San Antonio in 2007.

Asencio, 22, had one hit in two at-bats in the first game of a doubleheader against Bowling Green on the final day of the regular season to finish with a .323 average. He edged Kevin Pillar of Lansing by a single point (.322).

In November, it was revealed that Asencio had been using a false identity -- Yoan Alcantara -- and an age that was 2 1/2 years younger than he actually was. Asencio will turn 23 on Nov. 14.

Asencio's season didn't begin until May, when he obtained his visa in the Dominican Republic, though he picked up where he left off in 2011, when he hit .348 for the Padres entry in the Arizona League.

"Coming out of last year and the problems we had over the offseason, Yeison showed up and picked up where he left off [in 2011] with really no Spring Training," said Randy Smith, the Padres' vice president of player development and international scouting.

What does Smith like about Asencio's game?

"He has the ability to barrel the baseball from his neck to his toes," Smith said. "He's a very aggressive, hits the ball extremely hard and doesn't strike out. But, conversely, he doesn't walk. He's a hitter."

Asencio hit eight home runs and drove in 61 runs for the playoff-bound TinCaps. He also had more than 20 outfield assists as a right fielder.

Asencio didn't back into his batting title. He had eight hits in his last 23 at-bats, including three multi-hit games.

"What I liked was that coming into the last few days, he knew he had to get some hits to win the batting title and he flat out did," Smith said.