Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Case for Juan Perez

In light of Gregor Blanco’s new contract ($2.5 million) for the 2014 season, it had us thinking that our preference is to have Juan Perez be designated as the fourth outfielder for the Giants for the upcoming season. At the age of 26, Perez made his Major League debut this past season, and during his brief stint (97 plate appearances and 34 games played) he showed us something. His ability to go with the pitch and hit to the opposite field, his great speed, his defensive prowess (see his catch at Chase Field, and his then perfect-game saving catch for Petit).

Our fear is that the Giants front office will give Blanco the fourth outfielder tag, instead of looking at who is actually the best player for the job. In his 2013 campaign, Perez batted .258 with 23 hits, 1 HR, 8 RBI, and two stolen bases. Defensively, he had a .987 fielding percentage, committed just one error, and had eight assists. What we like most about Perez is that he just looks like a better overall player than Blanco, and given the opportunity, would put up better numbers than Gregor. As always, as the season plays out, players that deserve playing time will get it. If Perez is able to continue how he ended the 2013 campaign, he’s in line for a lot of playing time.

Juan Perez making a spectacular catch at Chase Field on June 9, 2013.

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