Detroit Tigers top 30 Prospects for 2023: #12 Wenceel Perez

Detroit Tigers prospect Wenceel Perez fields ground balls during spring training on Wednesday, Feb. 20,
Detroit Tigers prospect Wenceel Perez fields ground balls during spring training on Wednesday, Feb. 20, / Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers top 30 prospects for 2023: No.12 - Wenceel Perez

The Detroit Tigers have been invested in Wenceel Perez for quite some time. He's one of the team's home-grown talents who has weathered the storm and has been around since the summer of 2016 when he signed with the organization as an international signee from the Dominican Republic.

He's worked his way through the organization and has finally started to climb the ladder of the organization's ranks. At one time, he was considered a promising up-and-coming talent for the shortstop position within the organization.

It's similar to what Manuel Sequera or Abel Bastidas are for the organization. Both were ranked in the 25-21 range for the Tigers organization by the Motor City Bengals team. The good news for Perez is it still feels like he will be able to benefit this organization and be a piece of the puzzle moving forward.

For that reason, he was ranked 12th in the Motor City Bengals countdown. After splitting time between High-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie in 2022, let's look at how things shook out for the 23-year-old prospect.

In 2022, Perez logged 55 games with the High-A West Michigan Whitecaps, where he slashed .286/.364/.529 with 13 doubles, five triples, and nine home runs for 38 RBI while also swiping 13 bases.

He earned himself a promotion and got to jump up with the Double-A squad to play for the Erie SeaWolves. Perez slashed .307/.374/.540 with ten doubles, five triples, and five home runs. He's got 28 RBI and five stolen bases over 39 games played with 150 at-bats accumulated.

Perez is a switch-hitter who can play any of the three infield positions outside of first base. He's rangy, athletic, and has a lean build but can show off the glove. He's got soft hands with a good glove defensively. He also has some speed; he's not afraid to swipe bags and moves well overall on the basepaths.

Looking at his hitting, the power numbers have jumped a little bit, and it's worth noting. He's seemingly been able to get on plane with pitches better and create some more thump off the barrel. Adjustments in the batters' box seem to point towards some more hard contact rather than being a contact-first singles hitter.

Stance-wise, things are pretty similar from both sides; he starts with slightly open feet, and the hands set high. The back elbow stays up as he uses an inward stride from a slight leg lift to get on time. He's seemingly got better control of the barrel, as he showed in 2022, managing 47 extra-base hits over 407 at-bats compared to just 29 extra-base hits over 476 at-bats in 2021.

The point is that the adjustments in the box have been a product of hitting balls harder, getting the barrel to the ball on plane, and creating better contact. The speed helps turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples, but his tools in the batters' box seem to have taken a step in the right direction.

The Tigers have to be happy with how things went in 2022 and have to be hoping he can keep progressing in 2023. The thing with Perez is that he has been around for quite some time. Being that he has positional versatility, it makes it an easier sell for him to make it to the big leagues.

Perez projects as a middle-infielder at the big league level. If he continues to hit across all levels of the organization and the extra-base hits continue to be plentiful, he could be a solid big-league hitter. If not, he's got the potential to be a solid Quad-A player with a good glove and streaky bat.

Next. No. 13 Joey Wentz. dark