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2016 Mets draft preview: Delvin Perez

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With the 19th pick in amateur draft, the Mets can potentially draft Delvin Perez. Who is he, and would he be worth selecting?

Name: Delvin Perez
Born: Loiza, Puerto Rico
Age: 17 (11/24/98)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/165 lbs
Position: SS
Bats/Throws: R/R
School: International Baseball Academy (Ceiba, Puerto Rico)

Introduction

Puerto Rico was well represented in the 2012 MLB draft, with Carlos Correa being drafted number one overall by the Houston Astros and four other players from the island being drafted in the first three rounds. Since then, not a single Puerto Rican player has been drafted before the third round. All that will undoubtedly change this year, when Delvin Perez, another shortstop, is drafted.

While Perez has been an industry consensus top-ten draft pick for months and months, things have suddenly changed. Days before the draft, Perez tested positive for "an undisclosed performance enhancer." While there may be a harmless reason for the substance to be in his system—Adderall, for example, is considered a performance-enhancing substance and is often legally obtained and lawfully utilized by baseball players as per MLB regulations—the positive test result has hurt his stock. The shortstop has fallen in most mock drafts, with some sources dropping him out of the first round completely. There is, of course, a chance the positive test does not hurt his stock when the 2016 draft begins. Jon Gray tested positive for Adderall in 2013 and was still drafted number three by the Colorado Rockies, but the odds are that this news will severely hurt the young Puerto Rican and his family.

Perez doesn't have a commitment to a college, eliminating a major bargaining point. Coupled with his positive drug result, major league teams may be getting a huge bargain with Perez relative to where they draft him.

Stats

Given where he is from, Perez doesn't have stats in the same way that other draft prospects do. The IBAHS Knights participate in competitions and showcases across Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland, but they don't have a regular schedule against live competition like high schools. In some ways, his helps Perez, as he has much more experience competing against the best players of his age range.

What The Scouts Think

The best word to describe Delvin Perez is one word: tools. Keith Law called the shortstop "the most tooled-up player in the [draft] class".

There are virtually no questions on whether or not Perez will be able to stay at shortstop as he progresses in his baseball career. The youngster plays excellent defense now, and barring extenuating circumstances, will not change such that he will have to be moved from the position. He shows excellent instincts, getting extremely quick first steps. He highly athletic and has plus range to both his left and his right and plus speed, ranked third among all prep players in speed by Perfect Game USA. His arm is a strength, able to gun down runners from the extremes of his range. In short, Perez is everything you want out of a shortstop. The one knock on his defense, if you can call it that, is that he sometimes tries to do too much, showboat, or has mind lapses on routine plays, leading him to sometimes be unable to them.

Perez's bat is a whole different matter. "His defense is obviously there," one anonymous scout said. "It'll take time to see how much he hits. It's the hardest thing to project, because it's the hardest thing to do. But he's where he needs to be with his speed and defense."

Scouts believe that, thanks to his bat speed, he can become a line drive hitter that sprays extra base hits across the field, but he will likely have to work hard to achieve that. The most glaring issue in the mechanics of his swing is that he wraps his bat, meaning that he cocks his wrists and positions the bat behind his neck. This leads to Perez being unable to maintain a short, quick swing path, and instead produces a loopy, inefficient swing. Like other youngsters his age, Perez often has trouble with his pitch recognition, leading to issues against breaking balls and off-speed pitches.

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