Juan Perez, one of the San Francisco Giants scrambling for a slot in the outfield picture, has done much to prove he is a talented individual, short of leaping tall buildings at a single bound. However, until he is given the opportunity to demonstrate that he can hit at the MLB level, he will have to make his living doing something other than playing ball for the Orange and Black. What concerns longtime Giants fans is the possibility that some other team will be lucky enough to scoop up Perez and give him the shot he deserves.
Wait a second. Isn’t Juan Perez a defensive specialist? After all, in 32 games with the Giants in 2013, 24 of them starts, Perez had eight assists. That would extrapolate out to 40.5 over the course of a 162-game season. Unfortunately, in 2014, while accruing 100 ABs, Perez managed an anemic .170 batting average.
To paraphrase reader carmot, who possesses a wealth of pertinent Giants data and was willing to share it in the comments section, it’s tough to open 2014 with nine plate appearances in nearly seven weeks on the MLB level. With carmot continuing to provide this information, Perez returned to Fresno and mashed (.421 avg/1.005 OPS) for five games, and then came back to San Francisco and managed fourteen PAs in three weeks.
Oct 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielders Hunter Pence (8) , Gregor Blanco (7) and Juan Perez (2) celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals during game five of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
He went back to Fresno for two weeks with a slash of 304/.371/.393/.764, before bouncing back to San Francisco for another five weeks with 27 at-bats. Returning yet again to Fresno, he hit a home run every sixteen plate appearances while putting up numbers like this: 333/.391/.619/1.010.
Carmot wrote, “This is the same guy that holds the NJCAA Division II home run record of 37; the previous record was 23!
Perez surpassed the previous home record of 23 by hitting 37. Yep. That will do it.
Perez batted .465, with 102 RBIs, 37 HRs and 29 SBs in only 64 games.
He hit .529 his senior year of high school.
He had a 20-game stretch of Triple-A time in 2014 where he found his stroke again from July 17 to August 21: .347/.365/.694/1.059, .454 wOBA, 50 TBs in 77 PAs, 18Rs, 4 2Bs, 7 HRs, 16 RBIs.
[This is carmot still] Please Bochy, stop giving him one plate appearance every four games against some bullpen specialist with a gaudy 2.30 ERA, that the entirety of MLB has hit .210 off of.
Yes, I think many fans are being short-sighted in giving up on Perez. Yes, he did look lost [at the plate] at times, but I still see his skills. And let’s count how many balls he pulls two feet foul of the third base line instead of doubles three feet fair. LOTS. I know because I “sigh” every time on every one of those. I think about 75% of his doubles are fair within six feet of the bag. But I’m guessing detractors don’t recall all that? Just look at B-R and his slash line. ‘He stinks.’ Game over.”
I continue to be amazed at what readers contribute to Around the Foghorn. Earlier, Perez had interested me because of his defense, but now that I am aware of his offensive capabilities, I am intrigued. If this knowledge is available to Giants fans, albeit only those who are truly dedicated and determined to delve deep enough into a favorite player’s bio to find out, imagine how aware of all of this Giants management must be.
Practically every rookie struggles to find his groove at the MLB level. Carmot provided a few examples: Giancarlo Stanton (.209 average, 22 games), Mike Trout (.230, 29 Gs), Buster Posey (.257, 28 Gs), Brandon Belt (.224, 33 Gs), Troy Tulowitzki (.261, 22 Gs). Carmot’s point is that as long as a player is only inserted into the lineup sporadically, he is less likely to achieve success and even when given full-time status, it’s challenging to do as these players have proven.
Jul 9, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) scores a run against the Oakland Athletics during the bottom of the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
How does all of this information about Juan Perez tie directly into the Giants? With the acquisition of Nori Aoki, San Francisco has filled one of the outfield positions and has Gregor Blanco as a fine backup. Travis Ishikawa has also been added to the team for 2015 as a backup for both first base (his natural position) and left field, which he manned so admirably during the playoffs.
What is to become of Perez? With the starting eight clearly delineated, and Ishikawa, Blanco, Andrew Susac, and Joaquin Arias making twelve, the Giants are running out of slots. Assuming twelve pitchers accompany the club when it vacates the desert, that leaves only one spot remaining for Juan Perez. With Adam Duvall bringing power to the table, and Matt Duffy having proven quite capable already, and several other also-worthy candidates, it would seem as though it is an uphill battle for Perez.
He’s going to succeed; you just know he’s going to do it. Whether it is the Giants who capitalize on his many skills, or another team (carmot suggested Cincinnati) has yet to be determined, but I have joined those who believe that Perez has a special kind of talent and it’s being wasted.
All we are saying, is give Perez a chance.