Ashley is the 139th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Eau Claire Express catcher, Nevin Ashley, made his Major League debut for the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Ashley is the 139th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Ashley, who played collegiately at Indiana State, played for the Eau Claire Express in 2006. Ashley was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 6th round of the 2006 MLB draft.
In 2006 with the Express, Ashley played in limited action and hit .250 with one home run.
Ashley started his Minor League career in 2006 with the Princeton Devil Rays in the Rookie Appalachian League. Over 47 games he hit .333 with four home runs, eight doubles, a triple and 28 runs driven in.
Ashley spent the 2007 season in the Lo-A South Atlantic League with the Columbus Catfish. He played in 119 games with the Catfish and hit .280 with 12 home runs, 13 doubles, eight triples and 60 RBI. He also stole 20 bases in 28 attempts.
The 2008 season was spent in the Hi-A Florida State League with the Vero Beach Devil Rays. Ashley hit .235 with four home runs, 12 doubles and five steals over 102 games.
2009 saw Ashley start the year in Hi-A with the Rays new affiliate in the Florida State League the Charlotte Stone Crabs. After 62 games with Charlotte he was promoted to the AA Southern League with the Montgomery Biscuits. Between the two clubs he hit a combined .230 with three home runs and 14 doubles. He also had a .993 fielding percentage behind the plate and threw out 48% of the runners that attempted to steal.
The 2010 season was once again split between two different teams. He began the year again in Montgomery before a promotion, after 92 games, to the Durham Bulls in the AAA International League. Ashley hit .249 with eight home runs and 47 RBI for the season. He also continued his good defense with a .993 fielding percentage and he threw out 40% of the runners that attempted stolen bases.
2011 again was split between Montgomery and Durham. For the season he played in 112 games and hit .263 with eight home runs, 16 doubles, three triples and 48 RBI. His fielding percentage dipped a bit to .989 but his caught stealing percentage stayed at 40%.
Ashley started the 2012 season with the Rays Rookie level team in Gulf Coast League. After 15 games he went back to Durham for 35 games. He hit .271 for the year with six home runs and 18 RBI. Following the 2012 season he declared free agency and signed a minor-league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
Ashley spent the 2013 season in the AAA International League with the Louisville Bats. Appearing in 80 games he hit .235 with six home runs and 28 RBI. His fielding percentage was back up to .998 and he threw out 26% of runners attempting to steal.
After the 2013 season he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent the 2014 season with the Indianapolis Indians of the AAA International League. He hit .246 in 70 games with the Indians. He also had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and caught 15 out of 25 would be base stealers.
Ashley signed with the Brewers in January of 2015 and had played in 94 games with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the AAA Pacific Coast League before his September call-up. Over 94 games he was hitting .306 with eight homeruns, 14 doubles, four triples and 61 RBI.
Over 10 minor league seasons Ashley has played in 870 games and is a career .263 hitter with 61 home runs, 125 doubles, 27 triples and 376 RBI. He has also stolen 53 bases and walked 342 times.
In his Major League debut against the Marlins, Ashley was the starting catcher for the Brewers. In the top of the 2nd inning he doubled off of Marlins starter Tom Koehler to score Khris Davis from first in his first Major League at-bat. Ashley finished the game 1 for 2 with an RBI and a strikeout.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22 year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 135 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (KC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.