Hernan Perez | Second Base | #26
Age: 22 (23 on March 26)
2014 salary: Pre-arbitration
2013 statistics: .197/.217/.227, 0 HR, 0 2B, 1 3B, 1 SB, 2 BB, 15 K
Projected role: Toledo/backup infielder
There was some thought outside of the Tigers organization (and, quite possibly, some consideration within it) that Hernan Perez might end up being Detroit’s regular second baseman in 2014. That all went out the window once Ian Kinsler arrived, and it’s hard to say how seriously he was considered, there’s still a chance Perez will make the trip north from Lakeland.
Perez’s main competition for a roster spot will be the previously profiled Steve Lombardozzi. Perez is typically a second baseman, but he was originally a shortstop and played third in Venezuela, so he is similarly versatile. Perez’s disadvantage is a lack of experience. He got 71 unremarkable plate appearances at the major league level last year. Before that were 74 plate appearances at Toledo. Basically, Perez has 145 career plate appearances above the AA level. For that reason, the Tigers will likely opt to put him back in Toledo and get some more seasoning playing every day while Lombardozzi handles the utility infield role. The club clearly thinks enough of him that they feel he could eventually contribute in the big leagues, and regular playing time in Toledo would benefit him more than spending most of his time on the bench in Detroit.