Padres News: Down On The Farm-Second Base
By James Clark
Height/Weight: 6 ‘ 210 lbs
Another product of Mexico, Fernando Perez, ranks as the San Diego Padres’ #3 prospect at second base. Perez is a local talent out of Chula Vista’s Otay Ranch High School. He had an excellent year last year at Fort Wayne with the TinCaps.
Perez hit .284 with 18 home runs and 95 runs batted in. He played in 116 games this past year, and has three years of experience in the Padres minor league system. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft from Central Arizona College.
The 18 home runs Perez put up were in the pitcher-friendly Midwest league, so that bodes well for his future. In fact he is scheduled to play in the California league this year and his bat could really take another step up in the power category.
The power Perez displayed this past season was a nice surprise as he only had totaled 10 home runs in his previous 140-plus games. He did strikeout 106 times in his 507 plate appearances.
He played first, second and third base for Fort Wayne TinCaps. His lack of arm strength suggest third base is probably not his best-suited position. He could develop into a first baseman, because of his size and his power ability.
He has no speed to speak of (4 of 7 on stolen base attempts), and the .308 career minor league on-base percentage is troubling to say the least. He just does not walk enough as most young power hitters lack the ability to be patient.
He does have a fluid, left-handed swing and generates outstanding bat speed. At his young age, the sky is the limit, but he needs to be more consistent and work on his craft. With another 15-plus homer year, Perez could be a September call-up in 2016. He is still a bit raw, so to expect him earlier would be asking a bit too much.