Watch Wenceel Perez hit his first major league home run

Bless You Boys

Wenceel Perez has been a bit of a, dare I say it, sparkplug for the Tigers since his major league debut back on April 8th. The long-time infielder is still just 24 years old and began a transition to playing the outfield last season. There have been a few communication issues playing right field as Perez is often the center fielder for the Toledo Mud Hens and used to putting his speed to work to cover a lot of ground, but overall he’s been solid in right field and center, and came into Sunday’s contest with the Kansas City Royals holding a 120 wRC+.

On Sunday, after a couple of hard hit balls have fallen just short of the wall in the past week, he really got a hold of one. After a first pitch take by Perez, Michael Wacha tried to drop a changeup in for a strike and hung it up in the zone. He did not get the ball back. Instead, Perez deposited it 10 rows deep in the right field seats. Mark Canha rode home from second base as Perez collected his first major league home run.

Gotta love the smile on his face. You know that one felt good.

Perez has always been a speed guy with good contact skills. The big development for him as a hitter was in building up some muscle and learning to pull some balls in the air over the past two seasons.

However, even in his best major league dreams I doubt Perez envisioned himself hitting third in the Tigers batting order. With Spencer Torkelson and Parker Meadows both struggling at the plate, Perez has been a much needed stabilizing force for the offense the past three weeks. It’s still unlikely that he’ll be a long-term major league starter, and fitting him in as a fifth outfielder right now may be a bit tricky, but for the time being they can’t take him out of the lineup.

Whatever comes, it’s always gratifying as a prospect writer to follow someone from their teenage pro debut to making an impact at the major league level. Pretty cool. Congratulations and many returns, Wenceel Perez.

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