EURY PEREZ, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: May 30, 1990
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2007 (Nationals)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: Beverly Hills Sports Council
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Perez’ game is all about speed, for which he rates an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He has no power, but generally hit for good averages by beating out bunts and infield hits. He’s also been a prolific base stealer in the minors, with good success rates. Once he got past rookie ball, though, his walk rates plummeted. It’s a lot harder to get by in the majors on infield hits, so he seems to have gotten pegged as more of a fourth or fifth outfielder. Perez is a good defensive outfielder, with plenty of range for center and an arm that’s at least average. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2017, with an invitation to major league spring training.
Perez had a good debut, playing at age 17. He didn’t show any power, but drew a lot of walks.
The Nationals sent Perez back to the DSL for a second season and he had a much stronger year, hitting for solid power and taking good advantage of his speed.
Perez went to the GCL and had the highest batting average of any player in short season ball. He didn’t walk nearly as much, which often happens when a player moves up from the DSL, but he made contact consistently. Baseball America rated him the Nationals’ 11th best prospect after the season.
Perez got off to a rough start in full season ball, with a .571 OPS in the season’s first half, but he improved to .835 in the second half. His walk rate, however, did drop sharply overall. He stole the second-most bases in the minors, with a good success rate. BA rated him the Nats’ eighth best prospect after the season.
Perez spent the year in high A and continued to hit for average, but seldom walked and hit for no power. BA dropped his prospect ranking to 22nd in the Nats’ system. The Nationals added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
Perez continued along the same lines in AA, hitting for average but no power, and seldom drawing a walk. He hit better after a late-season callup to AAA. The Nationals called him up in September and utilized him mainly for pinch running. BA rated him their seventh best prospect.
The Nats sent Perez to AAA, where he showed a little more power but continued to show little patience. He got called up briefly in May and again in September.
Perez missed two months with a fractured toe and, other than rehabbing, spent the rest of the minor league season in AAA. His hitting continued much as before. The Nationals designated him for assignment in September and the Yankees claimed. He got a little time in the majors after that. The Yankees dfa’d him after the season and Atlanta claimed him.
The Braves sent Perez to AAA to open the season, then called him up in mid-June. He got semi-regular playing time in left field, a position where the rebuilding Braves didn’t really have anybody. He posted a decent average and OBP, with no power. Atlanta non-tendered Perez after the season and he signed a minor league deal with Houston.
The Astros sent Perez to AAA and, in June, sold his contract to Tampa Bay. He got only sporadic playing time in either organization and his hitting fell off.
Perez could conceivably make the Pirates out of spring training as a backup in the outfield. They have a lot of players, though, who can play there even though they’re not primarily outfielders, including Adam Frazier, Alen Hanson, Josh Bell and John Jaso. Perez’ weak 2016 season is a warning sign, too. If he loses any speed at all, he won’t have much to offer.