Rangers Prospect Watch: Productive Week for Hickory's Perez

Ranked No. 15 prospect in the Rangers organization

It’s been a productive week for outfielder Yanio Perez at Class A Hickory.

After back-to-back three-RBI games for the Crawdads on Thursday and Friday, the Rangers No. 15 prospect stayed hot over the weekend by homering twice and driving in four runs on Saturday. He’s off to a good start this week, adding another homer and a couple of more RBIs to the total on Sunday. For those keeping track at home, that’s four home runs and 12 RBIs over a four-day span.

The 21-year old from Havana, Cuba is lighting up pitching in the South Atlantic League, hitting .358 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 23 games during his first full season in the minors. He currently has a .642 slugging percentage in 81 at-bats.

Perez was an international signing from Cuba last September, playing both outfield and third base. He was in Cuba’s junior league and also played on the junior national team over three years ago. Scouts feel his tools have increased dramatically since leaving his home country.

Perez hits from the right side while displaying good plate coverage and raw power. Speed is also a weapon with scouts confirming a 60-yard dash in just under 6.5 seconds during a showcase in Mexico last year.

That speed also comes in handy on defense. Perez showed the ability to catch up with the ball in the gap while playing left in Cuba. On tape, his style appears to draw some comparison to a fellow Cuban currently patrolling left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Yasiel Puig. Although it’s still early, a righty with raw power and speed, you can see how easy it is to make that comparison. That’s if he stays in the outfielder. Perez got the start at first base for the Crawdads on Sunday.

While still a work in progress, Perez is showing early signs that the ability is there and growing. With slight improvements along the way, it could be a matter of time before the young hitter starts moving up the ladder in the Rangers organization.

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