Editor’s Note: This is GUEST POST from Michael Duncan. You probably know him from Twitter as @sfgiants643. He put together a great piece on why the San Francisco Giants should consider Juan Perez in Left Field next season. Do you agree with him? Disagree with him? Tell him all about it in the comment below! Thanks to Michael for the article!
Jun. 9, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: San Francisco Giants outfielder Juan Perez makes a leaping catch at the wall in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants are in need of an everyday left fielder and there are several options out there. I thought it would be a good idea to look at those options and see what the best fit would be. Most fans have opinions about these things so I thought I would offer mine; what about Juan Perez?
I know I’m in the minority here but hear me out. Most fans have indicated their desire for a player like Shin-Soo Choo, or Jacoby Ellsbury, both of which are strong players but come with healthy price tags. We’ve all said “we need a big bat in the lineup” but do we really? Sure added power can be helpful but at what cost? What is it worth to add that power bat to the outfield? Don’t we already have a few “power” bats on the team? Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt are four guys in the middle of our line up with power. This of course assumes they are having good years, but an assumption we would also need to make of Choo or Ellsbury.
I think it’s safe to assume that we are all happy with the defensive play of Perez. From the crash into the wall in his first game, to a game saving throw to home plate in New York, he’s already provided us with thrilling defensive plays in his short stint in the outfield this year. Let’s compare the offense between these 3 players: Ellsbury bat .298 average, had .355 OBP and .781 OPS and 9 HR in 577 with at bats. Choo bat .285 average, had .423 OBP and .885 OPS and 21 HR in 569 at bats. Perez bat .258 average, had .318 OBP and .748 OPS and 1 HR in only 89 at bats.
True, Perez is less than amazing when it comes to offense, but before you toss him aside let’s take some things into consideration. First he’s only had 89 at bats, that’s 15% of the bats Ellsbury had. Second, look at how he was trending this season. June and July he combined for a .238 average with no home runs, 10 hits in 41 at bats. September however was another story. He hit .277 in the month and hit is first major league home run! He went from .238 to .277 in only 6 more at bats; shows great improvement.
Let’s talk salary for a minute. Bringing in guys like Ellsbury and Choo are going to cost Giants BIG money. They currently make 9 and 7 million per year respectively. We have Perez at 500k for a while. You might say so, it’s not our money spend it to get the best players. I disagree here, sure you want to spend to get the right players, Posey, Pence, Matt Cain are great examples of this. These are franchise guys that mean more than a great arm or bat to the team. I don’t see anyone rushing out to buy Ellsbury or Choo jerseys. Plus don’t forget, fans pay for those salaries or at least in part, so ticket prices, jerseys and (insert favorite ball park food item here) all go up when salaries go up.
My bottom line is this: taking salary, talent and the potential that Perez at the end of 2013 we bring Perez in to spring training with the intention as starting him every day in left field. If it doesn’t pan out we haven’t lost anything. We have other internal options that we can use like Posey at first and Belt in left which we can consider. Then if all else fails, go out at the trade deadline and get someone.