Tigers Scouting Report #8: Hernan Perez

The third of the three candidates in contention for the big league shortstop job, Hernan Perez has primarily played second base in his minor league career. What makes the Tigers think he could be an everyday shortstop? FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT

Hernan Perez

Vitals

Position: Shortstop/Second Baseman
Date of Birth: 3/26/1991 (2014 Opening Day Age: 23)
Height/Weight: 6-1/185
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2007
Ranking History: # 104 (2008), #175 (2009), #34 (2010), #96 (2011), #24 (2012), #19 (2013), #8 (2014)

Background: Signed for $237,000 in 2007, Perez debuted with a .223 batting average and 13 extra-base hits in the VSL. Quickly brought stateside in 2008, Perez spent time in the GCL, and with West Michigan and Lakeland as an 18-year old, and posted a combined .239/.263/.350 line. After bouncing around in 2008, the Tigers let Perez settle in at Low-A West Michigan in 2009 where he hit just .235/.273/.298 in 124 games. He returned to West Michigan in 2010 and posted improved numbers, including a .258 batting average, a decreased strikeout rate, and improved extra-base hit rates. His 2012 season saw him move on to High-A Lakeland where he notched a .261 average and 27 steals in 124 games. In 2013, Perez reached the Major Leagues for a brief while, in addition to raking with a .301/.330/.410 line in 103 games between Double-A and Triple-A.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
Erie 362451092824351248247.301.325.423
Toledo 67320300457430.299.356.343
Detroit 661313010521510.197.217.227


Scouting Report

Body: Excellent frame; highly athletic; quick-twitch athlete; very strong for his size/build; good coordination; move gracefully on the field; doesn't have significant physical projection; good present strength suggests minimal strength to be added long term.

Hit: Potential for average hit tool; very aggressive; borders on free swinger; pitch recognition lags; natural bat-to-ball ability exists; struggles with spin but hangs back better with soft; can hit to all fields; gets pull happy but snaps out of it on his own; hard line drives to all fields; approach will hinder realization of full hit tool potential; has average raw hit ceiling; won't get there with current approach; lack of progress with approach to date suggests approach will remain wildly aggressive; likely come up short with fringe-average hit. Grade – Present 3+/Future 4+

Power: Plus bat speed; gets to the zone quickly and strong wrists snap the bat head through the zone; can drive the ball with authority; doesn't lift the ball; power is to gaps with doubles potential; has speed to leg out some triples as well; may knock 6-8 home runs per year; well below-average classic power (home run) but has doubles pop that will play in game situations, even with aggressive approach; below-average profile overall. Grade – 3/4

Speed: Can show above-average down the line; speed plays well thanks to instincts; gets out of the box well; aggressive on turns and in taking extra bases; has instincts to steal; reads pitchers well; good jumps and quick first step lead to high success rate; potential to swipe 20+ bases with full time job; quick twitch athlete that should maintain speed long term. Grade – 5+/5+

Defense: Athleticism and hands can play on left side; game can be too quick for him over there; fits better at second base; moves well laterally; instincts help range play to plus level; has had bouts of yips in past; beginning to make routine plays look routine; can make the spectacular play; hangs well on DP pivot; needs consistency; plus profile at 2B; fringy profile at SS unless the game suddenly slows down. Grade – 5/6

Arm: Very strong arm; raw plus and typically plays to that degree; quick release; can make throws on the run and from multiple arm angles without sacrificing accuracy/velocity; can fit on left side if necessary. Grade – 6/6

Other: Instinctual player; gets the most out of his tools with instincts on both sides of the ball; plays hard in all phases of the game.

Final Word

Summary: Intriguing overall profile; raw tools suggest left side defensive profile is possible at fringe level; right-side profile is very good; arm can play at either position; above-average run with instincts to steal and impact defensive game; has good gap power that plays in games; hit tool will be deciding factor; has raw potential to hit at average or better level; ultra-aggressive approach will hinder realization of that projection; may come up short with the bat for an everyday role.

Risk: Low risk; upper minors success; utility floor; everyday 2B ceiling; multiple tools play to above-average level; minimal remaining development required.

Projection: Has potential to be everyday 2B if hit tool manifests; if not, utility profile is easy projection; even with fringe hit tool, second division 2B is possible with strong defense, speed and pop; will see significant time in both Triple-A and MLB in 2014; could cement future with team with strong showing.

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