No. 20 Tigers prospect set to make his big league debut after Andy Ibáñez injury

Mar 5, 2024; North Port, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Wenceel Perez (46) bats  in the
Mar 5, 2024; North Port, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Wenceel Perez (46) bats in the / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of notable Detroit Tigers newbies heard their names called to start the season at the major league level — Parker Meadows, who was pretty much a shoo-in after 37 games last season, and Colt Keith, who the Tigers made an eight-year commitment toward this offseason. More than a couple others were left down in the minors despite rankings or impressive showings during spring training; Jace Jung, Justyn-Henry Malloy, Eddys Leonard, and even spring training star Justice Bigbie are all itching for that call-up, though they might have to wait a little bit longer for that to happen.

Today, in light of a hamstring injury for Andy Ibáñez, who's been a bright spot so far in the Tigers lineup, another name is getting called. In their first game of just a two-game set, Detroit is pulling up No. 20 prospect and utilityman Wenceel Pérez for his major league debut.

Detroit Tigers call up No. 20 prospect Wenceel Pérez for major league debut in light of injury for Andy Ibáñez

Pérez was present at Tigers spring training, where he got off to a cracking start but cooled off by the end of camp, hitting .250/.379/.375 with one home run when all was said and done. He's also relatively new to Toledo, moved up to Triple-A at the tail end of the 2023 season. To start the 2024 season, he's hit .212/.297/.485 over eight games with two doubles, two triples, and a home run.

A longtime member of the farm system, Pérez was signed as an international free agent back in 2016, when he was just 16, and has worked his way up the ladder slowly, though he did show considerable progress last year when he went all the way from A-ball to Triple-A over the course of a season.

Tonight, Pérez is likely to get his first shot in the show as a substitute bat or base runner, as Ibáñez wasn't in the lineup before the injury was announced. If he can show up for the team, he might have a real shot to stay for as long as Ibáñez stays sidelined.