|Born: August 14, 1984
Drafted: 6th Round, 169th Overall, 2006 (Devil Rays)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Indiana State Univ.
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Ashley appeared to be a solid all-around catching prospect with the Rays for a while, but got derailed when he struggle at the plate in high A. He was rated the best defensive catcher in the Rays’ system for two years and generally has had solid to outstanding CS rates. As a hitter, he’s consistently had good walk totals and modest power, but he also strikes out a fair amount. He signed a minor league deal with the Pirates for 2014.
Ashley had a good debut in advanced rookie ball, including a 52% CS rate.
In low A, Ashley continued to show solid overall offensive skills, including some power.
Ashley struggled in high A. His plate discipline remained good, but his hitting mostly collapsed otherwise. Even his throwing fell off, as he caught only 26% of base stealers.
The Rays sent Ashley back to high A and he had almost exactly the same season offensively. He spent about the last third of the season in AA and didn’t hit any better. His CS rate did improve to 48% on the season.
Ashley returned to AA and had a passable season, hitting with a little more authority. After the season, the Rays added him to their 40-man roster.
Ashley returned to AA and had a good season at the plate. At age 26, though, he was probably past the prospect stage. The Rays moved him up to AAA at the end of the season and struggled there. For the year, he threw out 40% of base stealers. The Rays removed Ashley from their 40-man roster over the winter.
Ashley missed the majority of the season with a broken hand. When he was able to play in AAA, he hit very well. After the season he became a free agent and signed with the Reds.
Ashley was the primary catcher for the Reds’ AAA affiliate. He didn’t hit as well as the year before, but continued to show his usual solid command of the strike zone.
Ashley received a spring training invitation, but was sent down to Indianapolis and spent the season there. He played semi-regularly, with his playing time depending on whether Tony Sanchez was in the majors and whether Carlos Paulino, who was hurt most of the year, was available. The Pirates brought him to Pittsburgh at one point when they weren’t sure they’d have two catchers available, but they didn’t activate him. Ashley got off to a fast start with the bat, but eventually slumped. He threw out 38% of base stealers and had only one passed ball.
Ashley will be a free agent again. With Sanchez, Ramon Cabrera and probably Elias Diaz all on the 40-man roster, it seems unlikely that he’d return.
|2014: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $150,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2011)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 6, 2006: Drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 6th round, 169th overall pick; signed on June 16.
November 19, 2010: Contract purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays.
January 13, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays; outrighted to AAA on January 17.
November 3, 2012: Became a free agent.
November 19, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 26, 2013: Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.