DSL Cards Position Player of the Year: 2008

Audris Perez delivered the top performance by a position player on the 2008 Dominican Summer League Cardinals.

With a look at the numbers in the following chart, I think we can all agree who deserves the award for the 2008 Dominican Summer League Cardinals Player of the Year. Having paid attention to our weekly team reports during the season would have led you to the same conclusion.

Audris Perez was a monster after his slow start in 2008. And when he got going, there was no stopping him from drilling the ball throughout the stadiums of the DSL. Players had their ups and downs, but Perez was on target. He was the top hitter in two of three months and was beaten out by a single point in the other month for the team-leading batting average.

Alexander Castellano and possibly Wader Perez were the only players to even come close to giving Audris a run for the award. But both come up short in head-to-head comparisons.

Castellano started out sharply, but later took a downturn during the season and was used off the bench during the last couple of weeks. Wader Perez started off slowly and gradually built up his confidence to be one of the top everyday hitters for the team by the end of the season.

The following monthly stats illustrate their fine results.

2008 DSL Cardinals Position Players

May/June July August
Wader Perez 13-for-67 (.194) 24-for-98 (.245) 20-for-66 (.303)
Luis Pimentel 14-for-66 (.212) 19-for-85 (.224) 19-for-67 (.284)
Juan Cabrera 8-for-45 (.178) 25-for-82 (.305) 16-for-63 (.254)
Alexander Castellano 18-for-75 (.240) 11-for-62 (.177) 13-for-40 (.325)
Audris Perez 16-for-67 (.239) 29-for-82 (.354) 12-for-28 (.429)
Santo Sandoval 9-for-48 (.188) 15-for-72 (.208) 12-for-53 (.226)
Roberto Reyes 10-for-56 (.179) 12-for-64 (.188) 6-for-41 (.146)
Marcos Martinez 7-for-45 (.156) 10-for-47 (.213) 7-for-32 (.219)
Jeudis Polanco 4-for-32 (.125) 14-for-43 (.326) 9-for-41 (.220)
Jorge Lopez 10-for-44 (.227) 6-for-33 (.182) 8-for-33 (.242)

Perez' season

Audris Perez played in 46 games, batting .322 (57-for-177) with a .342 OBP, .525 SLG, and .868 OPS. The 19-year-old right-handed swinger had 15 doubles, seven home runs, 40 RBIs, 93 total bases, scored 29 runs, and walked five times. He was 3-for-5 in stolen base attempts, struck out 9% (16) of the time, and committed seven errors. Perez was the team's starting catcher, but also played nine games at 1B and one as the DH.

The 1st year DSL participant gunned down 40 of 88 attempting base stealers, allowed nine passed balls, and picked off two base runners. He had 17 multi-hit games including a 4-for-4 performance on July 28. The 5'9" 180-pounder had a ten-game hitting streak from July 7-July 22, then a 12-game hitting streak to round out his season from July 23 (2nd game)-August 11. Perez had a six-game multi-hit streak from July 12-July 22 added to that. He knocked out his first home run on June 7 and jacked his first grand slam on August 6.

Perez took a little time to get going but by mid-July he was driving the ball everywhere and before he left he was putting a hurting on the league. He was also selected to the DSL All-Star Game on July 27 going 1-for-3 with one double and two RBIs. (Runners left in scoring position with 2-outs: 8)

The only thing I'm surprised about is that Perez didn't get promoted at the same time as Angel Cruz.

Luhnow on Perez

Cardinals Vice President of Amateur Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow provided this scouting report on how Perez became a Cardinal and what they've seen from him since.

"Perez was a gut feel guy for (Cardinals Latin American scouting supervisor) Juan Mercado. Despite being slightly older than most kids we sign in the Dominican Republic, our scouts felt he would be ready for the US early in his career, and they were right.

"He was the best offensive player on the team and handled the staff well. He's 19 and measures 5'9" - Pudge like. His tools are his arm and his bat. He should get a chance to show us his skills in a rookie club next year," explained the farm director.

Note: Like the details on Perez above, you can read individual capsules on each of the club's top position players in our recent four-part series recapping the 2008 VSL Cardinals season.

Master article with all 2008 Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Players of the Year and the schedule for daily announcements: link. (This link is also permanently located at the lower left of The Birdhouse home page.)

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