Born: Clovis, California
Age: 22 (2/09/97)
Height/Weight: 5’10”/180 lbs.
School: California State University, Fresno (Fresno, California)
Zach Ashford was a three-year letterman at Buchanan High School in his native Clovis, California. In his senior year, Buchanan went 29-4 and won the Central Section Division I championship and Ashford had an extremely productive year, hitting .378 with 27 stolen bases, winning various awards and being named to a variety of honorary teams. After graduating, he honored his commitment to Fresno State.
He appeared in 49 games for the Bulldogs in his freshman year and hit a respectable .316/.402/.360. That summer, he played for the Eau Claire Express in the Northwoods League and hit .327/.434/.365 in 57 games. The gains he made playing there carried over into his sophomore year at Fresno, and the outfielder hit .316/.398/.424 in 57 games. He went back to the Express that summer as well and hit .301/.424/.393 in 61 games. In 2018, he earned Second-Team All-Mountain West honors with his .352/.406/.489 batting line. Having gone undrafted, he played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League that summer and hit .314/.405/.350 in 41 games. Returning to Fresno for his senior year, Ashford hit .386/.496/.543 in 52 games through the NCAA regionals.
At the plate, Ashford has his hands high and has a balanced stance. He swings with a toe tap and lacks a stride with a short, quick stroke. His swing path is direct, leading to line groundball or drive contact to all fields. His above-average speed is his loudest tool and it works well in conjunction with his ability to hit for average, allowing him to beat out groundballs for hits. He gets aggressive at times, trying to do too much, but he has a good eye and understanding of the strike zone, taking walks and keeping strikeouts limited.
Ashford takes advantage of that speed in the outfield as well. His above-average speed lets him cover plenty of grass in center. He is extremely good with the glove, committing a single error in his entire four-year career at Fresno State.