Detroit Tigers Prospects

Detroit Tigers Future Friday: 3 Prospects who made huge gains in 2018

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Matt Hall #64 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at Progressive Field on September 15, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Matt Hall #64 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at Progressive Field on September 15, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 18: A general view of the field and sky as the Detroit Tigers host the New York Yankees during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Wenceel Perez

Perez spent 2017, his first season with the Tigers organization, over in the Dominican Republic playing for the DSL Tigers. He hit .314/.387/.358 in 61 games, a good sign of things to come.

He has taken a step forward here in 2018. He began the season with the Gulf Coast League Tigers, slashing a blistering .383/.462/.543 with seven doubles and a pair of steals in just 20 games. That earned him a quick call up to the Connecticut Tigers in the short-season New York Penn League.

Perez struggled a bit at that level, as he was on average three years younger than his competition. He hit just .244 there, although his 13.8% strikeout rate was still outstanding and his seven steals in just 21 games wasn’t too shabby either.

However, the reason he cracks this list is what he did next. Perez earned himself yet another promotion, this time with the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League. He was about 3.5 years younger than most of the player at that level, but it didn’t matter. Perez slashed a tidy .309/.324/.441 with a 109 wRC+. His 2.8% walk rate at that level is certainly not ideal, but his 11.3% strikeout rate is incredible considering his age and inexperience.

All-in-all, Perez rocketed up three levels at the age of 18, and is beginning to look like a solid future shortstop. His ability to make contact is one of the best in the entire system, and although he has no power to speak of, it’s entirely possible he adds some muscle to his current five-foot-eleven, 170 pound frame.

The Tigers will certainly take their time with the young shortstop, but his ability to put the ball in play should help him succeed at all stops.

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