(10) Carlos Perez. C, 26, AAA & MLB. 2.0 WAR
2017 Stats: .394/.468/.556 with 3 HR’s and 3 SB’s
Key Number: 12% BB rate in Triple A
Acquired: Traded for Hank Conger in 2014 by Dipoto
The forgotten man. Perez is still only 26, remains a good defensive backstop, and has solid bat-to-ball skills. That’s the same player who once looked like he‘d nailed down a half-time MLB gig back in 2015 as a 24 year old.
Over the last three years at Salt Lake, he’s been a flyball hitter with a pull-heavy, damage-maximizing approach. That works great in the Pacific Coast League. In the majors, his batted ball distribution was pure vanilla, and the secondary skills never manifested. That wasn’t enough to stick on a contending club. But again. 26!
A relatively minor uptick in power or walk rate would go a long ways towards helping him return—and stay!—in the show.
(9) Michael Hermosillo. (CF, 22, A+ & AA). 2.0 WAR
2017 Stats: .260/.380/.375 with 4 HR and 23 SB’s (9 CS)
Key Number: 31% LD rate since June 1st
Acquired: 28th round of the 2013 draft under Dipoto
Hermosillo is quietly picking up steam in Double A, hitting an impressive .323/.434/.532 in July. He represents success for the Halos’ player development folks, as the former prep pick now combines a decent glove with some patience, speed, and a dash of homerun pop. Over the last two years, he’s also run some outrageous BABIP’s for long stretches--he’s at .415 for July--which has masked his tendency to swing and miss a little more than most players with his profile. He’s still a work in progress, but the trends are all heading in the right direction for the 22 year old.
So who will people view as the next Halos’ homegrown fourth outfielder over the next six months? The former prep-pick and righty-swinging Hermosillo? Or one of the two lefty swinging, college bats from the 2016 draft, Troy Montgomery and Brennon Lund?
(8) Eric Young Jr. Of, 32, AAA & MLB. 2.0 WAR
2017 Stats: .339/.408/.503 with 5 HR and 16 SB
Key Number: .111/.261/.111 in 24 PA’s since returning to the minors.
Acquired: Minor league free agent, 2016, signed by Eppler
The slump that had begun to eat away at Young’s fantastic run with the Angels followed him back to the minors, unfortunately. It looks like Shane Robinson is the next journeyman to head up to the Halos after Maybin’s misfortune, but maybe Young gets another shot before the season is through.
(7) Jose Rojas. 3B/U, 24, A+ & AA. 2.0 WAR
2017 Stats: .315/.350/.480 with 8 HR’s & 4 SB
Key Number: .379 BABIP
Acquired: 36th round of the 2016 draft as a senior sign under Eppler
With the exception of fellow senior-sign Zach Gibbons, Rojas has moved faster than any other 2016 draftee. His plate discipline, bat-to-ball and over-the-fence skills are more solid than elite, but Rojas is making lots of loud airborne contact, always good enough to put one on a Cal League leaderboard or two. He’s played mostly third base this year, where he flashes a strong glove, but his resume features some time at second and short. If he continues to hit--and especially if he continues to show some home run pop in Mobile--than he might make it as offensive-minded utility guy some day. I think of him as Alexia Amarista light.
(6) Wade Wass. C, 25, AA. 2.1 WAR
2017 Stats: .262/.371/.492 with 11 Hr’s & 9 SB’s
Key Number(s): .230 iso w/ farm leading 10 HR´s.
Acquired: Signed as an undrafted minor league free agent in 2014 by Dipoto
On a per at-bat basis, Wass has inflicted more damage than any other full season Halos’ farmhand, leading the system in RC+. And check out the opposite field thunder! Six dingers over the right field wall. That kind of all-fields power is rare in any farm system.
Five of the oppo-tacos came against righties, which I think is important to recognizing Wass’ ability to execute his game plan as a hitter. Against same-handers, he uses the whole field, lashing linedrives to left and moon shots to right. It’s speculation on my part, but his ability to let the ball travel deep in the zone before unleashing has also helped him keep the bat on his shoulder when it suits him, resulting in a very useful 14% walk rate against righties.
He doesn’t bring the same level of patience against lefties, where he looks to inflict maximum damage with each swing. The result is a .372 iso so far this year but fewer walks.
And did I mention that he’s a catcher? He’s only spent 20 games behind the dish, but his passed ball rate is reasonable and he’s caught 29% of runners. He’s also spent a few games in the outfield, with the balance of his games spent at either DH or riding the bench (There’s an interesting Mike Napoli v Jeff Mathis dynamic playing out in Mobile).