Billy Ashley

Top Ten LA Dodger Bums 9: Billy Ashley

I’ve decided to do this on a daily basis now and not once per week. It’s just too much fun for just once per week. This next all time LA Dodger bum created a lot of buzz back in the day. He was once a teammate of Jose Offerman. This player was a highly touted draft pick who came up through the minor league system propelled by a career fueled by hype alone. He was minor league player of the year, Pacific Coast league all-star and MVP, and complete and utter flop. This brings us to the number 9 all time LA Dodger Bum……. Billy Ashley

 

Billy Ashley was originally from Trenton, Michigan and drafted right out of high school at age 18 in the third round of the 1988 draft by the Dodgers. From 1988-1991 Ashley advanced through the Minor League ranks pretty quickly despite not playing very well. Ashley played for the Gulf Coast Dodgers, Bakersfield, and then Vero Beach. Finally for some unknown reason the Dodgers moved him up to double AA ball San Antonio. No one knew why considering he never hit higher than .252 or hit more than 9 home runs in his first three years in the minor leagues.

The Dodgers just couldn’t ignore all of the misguided hype surrounding this guy, and in 1992 Ashley finally showed some kind of skill as he hit 24 home runs in San Antonio that year while putting up a line of .279/.317/.534. The Dodgers called him up to the big club for some unknown reason, and that is where Ashley really flopped.

In 1992 Ashley was pathetic, putting up a paltry line of .221/.260/.337 in 29 games and 95 at bats. Ashley, for all the hype of him being a big power guy, only hit two home runs and drove in a mere six runs in those 95 wasted at bats. After Ashley laid an egg in left field, the Dodgers decided that he needed MORE seasoning. That’s right, that’s what the problem was with him! Not that he had absolutely no talent in any way whatsoever. NO. It was he needed more time down in the minors. So over the next two years, Ashley played for the then Albuquerque Dukes. While only playing a handful of games at the big league level from 1993-1994.

So in 1993 Ashley had a good year in Albuquerque, hitting 26 home runs, and 100 RBI. His line at AAA was .297/.344/.539, and was named as a PCL all-star. He was given a token September call up, and again played terrible. In only 14 at bats, he was 9 for 37 for with an avg. of .243, and he didn’t hit one home run or drive in any runs.

Finally in 1994, Ashley had by far his best minor league season. He hit 37 home runs and 105 RBI, with a line of .345/428/.701, and an OPS of 1.129, this earned him MVP honors for the Pacific Coast League. No one knew what caused this breakout season, but we knew it wouldn’t last once he got back to the majors. It didn’t.

Ashley was a big man at 6’7 and 220 pounds. The right hander was big and lean, but he could not hit a breaking ball to save his life. Often he would lose his grip on the bat when a breaking ball was pitched to him. His bat would fling several rows up into the stands.

After Ashley only had six fruitless at bats with the Dodgers in 1994, they decided it was his time. In 1995 the Dodgers threw Ashley into the water, but unfortunately he didn’t know how to swim. Ashley was a full time player in left field in 1995. It was now or never for him. He chose never.

Over the next three seasons, Ashley played some left field and lived on the Dodgers bench either as a pinch hitter or just plain riding the pine. He consistently struck out, and played terrible defense. Every year of his major league career he had more whiffs than hits.

In 95, he hit .237/.320/.372 in 81 games, and in 215 at bats he only hit 8 home runs and drove in 27 runs while whiffing 88 times and only collecting 51 hits.

In 1996, Ashley played in 71 games, and got 110 at bats. That year he barely reached the Mendoza line, batting .200/.331/.482 with 9 home runs, and 25 RBI. Ashley had 22 hits and 44 whiffs that season.

In 1997, Ashley’s final year with the Dodgers, he played in 71 games again, getting 131 at bats. He was predictably awful, hitting .244/.293./435 with 6 home runs and 19 RBIs. Once again he had more strikeouts than hits with 46 whiffs and only 32 hits.

The Dodgers even tried sending him back down to Albuquerque for a short time. The Dodgers had already tried that with him, but they were desperate at this point. Nothing seemed to work with Ashley, and finally he was released before the 1998 season.

The Red Sox foolishly signed him, he played most of the season for the Pawtucket AAA team, but did get in 13 games with the Red Sox. This was his final season in the majors. He only had 24 at bats for the Red Sox and hit three home runs. On July 3, of 1998, Ashley had his last hurrah in the majors, going 3 for 4 with a grand slam home run.

He spent 1999 with the Toledo Mud Hens of the Detroit Tigers organization. Ashley continued to play in the minors through the 2001 season before retiring.

Ashley hit 172 home runs in the minor leagues, and was a .277 hitter, but he couldn’t translate that into Major League success. For all his touted power, Ashley only hit 28 Major League home runs, and his career line was .233/.307/.409. Ashley had 144 hits and 236 strikeouts.

Ashley is currently trying to make it as an actor. He is starring in a FOX reality channel TV series called Househusbands of Hollywood.

Too bad Ashley couldn’t act up a few more hits in the MLB. He was truly one of the biggest failed prospects the Dodgers have ever had and our number nine LA Dodger Bum of all time.

Tags: Billy Ashley Dodgers Jose Offerman

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