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Is it time to start Hernan Perez at second?

Hernan Perez has spent four years as a super-utility man for the Milwaukee Brewers, but it might be time to give him the starting job at second base.

Since Hernan Perez joined the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015 he has played multiple positions including both the infield and outfield. While his career stat line isn’t going to wow anyone, he has been a solid contributor for the team.

How productive has Perez been?

Perez’s first full season with the Milwaukee Brewers was in 2016 and since then, he has averaged double-digit home runs and steals. In 2016, he had 34 stolen bases, so there is no question he is a player with both speed and power.

However, his other hitting statistics such as batting average, and on-base and slugging percentage have gotten worse since his impressive 2016 season. In 2016 he hit .272 with an OBP of just over .300. This year, he hit around .250 with an OBP of .290. But at age 27, Perez is also at a point in his career where there could still be improvement.

Perez has a relatively team friendly salary at $2.5 million this year, and he’s arbitration eligible in 2020.  By 2020, Keston Hiura should be ready to take over the second base duties. Perez is also  known as a good defensive player regardless of position.

Who is Perez’ competition?

The Milwaukee Brewers recently signed Cory Spangenberg for infield depth. Spangenberg and Perez are both 27 years old, and have similar statistical lines. Last year Perez had a better average, more steals, and more home runs in a similar amount of plate appearances. In addition, Perez has a very slight edge in career fielding percentage at second base.

Josh Harrison and Brian Dozier have also been connected to the Milwaukee Brewers. Dozier is coming off his worst statistical season of his career and Harrison’s 2018 stats are very similar to Perez and Spangenberg. Plus, Harrison has seen a statistical decline over the last few years.

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Because the remaining free agent options aren’t great, the alternative options that are currently on the roster aren’t better and the Hiura era is almost here. It’s time to give Perez an opportunity to be the Milwaukee Brewers starting second baseman in 2019.

 

 

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