Name: Daniel Perales
Weight: 175 lbs
History: Daniel Perales was
mostly a defensive-minded outfielder until his last
season with USC. He finally began to swing the bat
with authority in 2006, but he nevertheless fell to the
22nd round of that year's draft.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are glad
that he did. When evaluating a player from a
school like USC, you can't judge his stats the same as
someone who plays against a bunch of community colleges.
"We faced a lot of really good
pitching up and down the conference," Perales told
FutureBacks. "We matched up with a couple of first
rounders, [including] one who's in the big leagues now with Seattle,
[Brandon] Morrow. The whole mentality and approach
to the game was a lot different than high school,
especially playing against good competition like that.
The good pitching kind of helped discipline myself at
the plate and learn as a player."
Perales has obviously used the
lessons he's learned at USC to succeed in pro ball.
After a good showing in Rookie-ball last year, Perales
had a hot-and-cold start to the 2007 season. He
then rallied for a .304 batting average after the
All-Star break (.348 in August), and wound up leading
the entire Diamondbacks organization with 92 RBI.
"When you see pitchers again for
the third and fourth time, you've already seen what
they've got," Perales said to explain his successful
second half. "You know how they're going to work you depending on the situation. You
kind of start picking their mind, and figuring out what their pitchers are, and
where they're going to work you, where they don't want to throw the ball to you.
So you start predicting what they're going to bring to the table."
Perales would even improve his
approach to pitchers within an individual game.
Perales batted .174 without a homer in 94 first-inning
at bats last year. After the second inning, Perales got base hits at a .337 clip. This ability
to learn and improve, both within a game and over the
course of the season, makes this low-round draft pick a
legitimate prospect, even in an organization teeming
with young outfielders.
Statistics Courtesy of
The Baseball Cube
Batting and Power:
Perales' first inning numbers tell us that he wasn't
particularly well-suited as the Silver Hawks' leadoff
hitter, a role he gladly took on for the team. But
Perales slugged .549 when he hit third and .507 in the
#5 hole. He's not a big guy, and only has line
drive power, but these numbers suggest that Perales is
more suited to being a run producer than a table-setter.
"I prefer hitting in the middle of the order," Perales
admitted. "It suits me well.
Especially in the five hole, you get a lot of opportunities for RBIs."
His position in the batting order can also fool opposing
defenses. Most middle-of-the-order guys are
dead-pull hitters. Not Perales. He has a
beautiful opposite field swing that can catch defenders
out of position and burn pitchers who try to work him
"That took a lot of work to get that opposite field
swing, going with the pitch, especially. I really worked
on that with my hitting coach (Jeff Young). Just
really taking that outer half away, because a lot of the
pitchers like to stay away with me. Once they
realize that they can't go away, then there's really
nowhere to go."
"[Perales] understands pitch selection, understands
pitch sequences, and what pitchers are trying to do to
him," said Mark Haley, Perales' manager at South Bend.
"If they're going to throw him away, he'll go with it,
and that's the sign of a quality hitter, especially at
Base Running and Speed:
Perales has good speed, but not the jets of a
prototypical leadoff hitter. He nevertheless led
the Silver Hawks in runs scored, not only because he was
on base over 200 times, but also because he is very
opportunistic on the base paths. The entire
Diamondbacks organization, and Mark Haley in particular,
preach aggressiveness in their young players. Perales took that to heart all season long, stretching
singles into doubles, doubles into triples, and
advancing on outs.
He's not likely to steal many bases at the major league
level, particularly if he does hit lower in the order,
but his base running acumen is nevertheless a big part
of what Perales brings to the table.
Perales has good range and an impressive outfield arm.
The only reason he predominately manned left field for
the Silver Hawks is that teammates Joey Side and Gerardo
Parra are two of the best defensive outfielders in the
"It's fun playing left field, because a lot of teams don't expect you to have
a strong arm," Perales confided. "But I never really played left field
[in college], I played predominately
center and right field. So a lot of guys try to run on you and what not,
and it's like, surprise!"
Five of Perales' last seven starts
of the year were in right field, with Parra having been
promoted to Visalia. Perales also patrolled center
in nine games, giving Side the occasional breather.
He's starting to hit well enough to play left field, but
Perales was happy to remind developmental staff that he
has the necessary tools to man the other outfield
"I feel pretty comfortable everywhere now in the outfield, but it helps having
a strong arm in left field, that's for sure."
Clone: Reed Johnson
Prediction: Perales is
extremely versatile on both sides of the ball.
Because he does so many things well, do not be surprised
if he eventually vaults some of the outfield prospects
ahead of him and lands a role as the Diamondbacks'
"He's very polished with what he
wants to do, and I see a lot of good things coming out
of him," praised Haley.
2011. That assumes a steady one-level-per-season
ascension through a very competitive system, and would
mean a big league debut at age 26, often a peak age for
ballplayers. But if Perales can continue to
improve himself at the rate that he did in 2007, he will
reach the majors before then, and possibly play himself
into a more involved role.
Premium members of
FutureBacks.com can listen to our full six minute audio
interview with Daniel Perales. Not a premium
Compare a Scout.com membership to a BaseballAmerica.com