Wenceel Perez, SS, Single-A in 2019
Another signing from the past, the Detroit Tigers brought in Wenceel Perez during the 2016 season as an international signing from the Dominican Republic. He was a low-risk/high-reward signing when he was brought in as a sixteen-year-old. Now twenty, Perez is a switch-hitting shortstop/middle-infielder who has the chance to become a great signing by the Tigers.
Perez comes in at 5-foot-11, 195-pounds, playing for the Single-A West Michigan affiliate. Since 2017, Perez had bounced between different High-A and Low-A affiliates, but in 2019 Perez spent the entirety of the season with Single-A West Michigan. He would play in 124 games for the Whitecaps, accumulating a .233/.299/.314 slash line with only three home runs and thirty RBI.
Perez also stole twenty-one stolen bases on thirty-four total attempts. Out of the ballpark type of power is not a part of Perez’s game, so the lack of home runs is not a bad thing at all. From the left side, Perez has an open stance where he features a quick toe-tap rather than a leg kick.
As a right-handed hitter, Perez has a more even, straight-up stance, rather than being open. Being a speedy player in general, he gets down the line quickly from both sides of the plate as well, running well above average.
He does a great job of letting the ball travel across the plate and still driving it to all parts of the field. He is more of a line-drive, gap finder, type of hitter who peppers the left and right-center gaps to get on base.
In terms of defense, he has phenomenal reaction time at shortstop, and quick recovery if he does mishandle a groundball. His strong arm allows him to throw hard across the diamond to get the runner out on tricky plays. Overall, a plus-defender that can use his speed and hands to become a solid defender throughout his journey to the big leagues.
MLB Expectation: Being that Perez is only in Single-A, there is a lot that could happen between now and his time in the big leagues. Perez is poised for a promotion to the Double-A Erie team, and hopefully, his talent can continue to see developments as he continues on the journey. If he continues on this path, he will be a phenomenal defender in the big leagues, who can hit from both sides for average with the occasional home run, and pose a speed threat on the bases.