Detroit Tigers prospect undergoing position change as Spring Training roars on

The Detroit Tigers have been waiting a long time for Wenceel Perez to reach the big leagues, but it sounds like he will be undergoing a positional change this spring.
Erie SeaWolves batter Wenceel Perez gets a hit against the Akron RubberDucks at UPMC Park in Erie.
Erie SeaWolves batter Wenceel Perez gets a hit against the Akron RubberDucks at UPMC Park in Erie. / GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS / USA

The Detroit Tigers signed Wenceel Perez as an international free agent, years ago. The Dominican Republic product has been working his way to the big leagues over time. Perez continues to make strides but has yet to crack the big leagues.

This spring, it sounds like he might be undergoing a positional change. The Detroit Tigers have announced that they will be shifting Wenceel Perez to the outfield. For the rest of this spring, he will work on getting some work in as an outfielder, aiming to find a new home positionally.

This seemingly is because of the Tigers' logjam of prospects on the infield and space to move through the organization as an outfielder. The 24-year-old is still working his way toward the big leagues, but he still has some work left to do through the levels of the Tigers' organization.

Perez is shifting to the outfield, where he may have some more upside down the line. Plus, it's become quite apparent that the Tigers' organization loves their versatility, so having Perez moving all around the field is a good thing. After all, he was labeled as undersized and too small for the left side of the field, so playing the outfield adds some value to his profile, providing it sticks.

Detroit Tigers prospect Wenceel Perez is carving out a new role in a new position.

It's been an uphill battle for Perez on his road to Detroit, and it has taken him some time to get there. However, in 2023, Perez made it all the way to Triple-A, joining the Toledo Mud Hens roster. Perez spent the majority of his season with Double-A Erie, where he slashed .271/.353/.375 while adding nine doubles, two triples, and six home runs. This came with 35 walks and 52 punchouts.

When he was added to the Triple-A roster, he played in 35 games, slashing .264/.394/.496 with 13 doubles, four triples, and three home runs. He walked 27 times and struck out 29 times during that stint. There's a chance for him to stick at the Triple-A level; it will just be a matter of where he plays in the field.

Perez is listed at 5-foot-11, 203 pounds, which might be a generous estimation. But Perez, who may be too small for the left side of the infield, could carve out a career as a 2B/OF utility man. Think of it similar to what Zach McKinstry and Andy Ibáñez have been for the team.

While Perez may not be in the big leagues this year, his change of position could be an interesting way for him to establish himself with Toledo at the Triple-A level in 2024.