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Newcomer Asuaje hitting .311 in AFL

Margot hits third homer in Dominican Republic

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Three prospects recently acquired from the Padres are playing in the Arizona Fall League or winter ball.

Infielder Carlos Asuaje -- pronounced ah-SWAH-hay -- immediately changed his uniform from the Red Sox to the Padres while playing for Scottsdale of the AFL. Asuaje is playing second and leading off for the division leaders, who could be playing in Saturday's AFL championship game.

Asuaje, 24, is hitting .311 (19-for-61) in 15 games.

Center fielder Manuel Margot, 21, is hitting .245 (13-for-53) with Este in the Dominican Republic. He hit his third homer and drove in three runs the night the Padres acquired him from the Red Sox in the four-for-one trade for closer Craig Kimbrel.

Margot has 11 RBIs in 17 games with Este with two doubles, a triple and the three home runs. He is 3-for-8 in his last three games with the homer, four RBIs and three runs scored.

And infielder Jose Pirela, 25, who the Padres acquired from the Yankees in exchange for Minor League pitcher Ronald Herrera, is hitting .373 (31-for-83) with Zulia in the Venezuelan winter league. He was 4-for-9 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and a RBI in two games over the weekend.

Pirela has six doubles, two triples and a home run for 12 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 21 games. He has a .435 on-base percentage and .530 slugging percentage.

Going into the final four games of the Arizona Fall League, outfielder Nick Torres, 22, is hitting .289 for Peoria. He is 7-for-14 in his past three games with two doubles, three runs scored and a RBI.

Third baseman Gabriel Quintana, 23, is 8-for-19 with Peoria over his last five games with a homer, two RBIs and five runs scored to raise his batting average to .236. Second baseman Fernando Perez, 22, a product of Otay Ranch High, is 6-for-19 over his last five games with three doubles and a home run and is hitting .188 in the AFL.

Right-hander Ryan Butler (3-0, 1.50 ERA over 12 innings) is scheduled to make his fourth and final start of the AFL Monday for Peoria.

Submarining right-handed reliever Eric Yardley is 1-0 with three saves and a 3.27 ERA in nine appearances (11 innings). Two other right-handed Padres prospects are also entering their final week with Peoria. Cody Hebner has a 3.68 ERA in seven appearances and Elliot Morris has a 4.15 ERA in seven appearances.

Shortstop Ruddy Giron, 18, is beginning to see more playing time with Escogido in the Dominican Republic while Class A Fort Wayne teammate Luis Urias, 18, continues to hit .338 for Obregon of the Mexican Pacific League.

Catcher Austin Hedges is hitting .242 after 18 games with Escogido in the Dominican Republic although outfielder Rymer Liriano has slumped to .210 in 18 games in the same league.

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