Perez Has Been Steady For Great Lakes

To call a player "Steady Eddie" is so easy it's almost a cliche. But in the case of Eduardo Perez, it's also most appropriate. A close observer of the Great lakes team recently commented, "He's the same hitter he was in April and In May, June and July. He just goes up there and gets a base hit."

There may be some confusion since there are two players of that name in the Dodger system- the one to whom the observer was referring is the first baseman for Great Lakes. The other is a relief pitcher with the Gulf Coast dodgers. They're similar in name only; the first baseman is from Venezuela, the pitcher from the Dominican Republic.

Eddie the hitter is about to have his 23rd birthday on Aug. 30 and is a solid 6-1, 175-pounder. He's a switchhitter who looks capable from either side of the plate, hitting line drives for the most part. He began his career as a third baseman, alternated between third and first for a couple of years but has been stationed on the right side of the infield for all of this season.

He toiled foe one year in the Venezuelan Summer League and two years in the Dominican Summer League before coming across the Caribbean. He had the looks of a dependable hitter while playing there and showed that and then some when he led the Gulf Cast League in batting with a .352 average in 2005.

But last year he went into a decline. He managed only a .249 mark at Columbus so was sent down to Ogden where he did little better, posting only a .255 mark. Doubts began to creep in about his ability to maintain a good level as he moved upward.

Nobody's doubting him these days, not the way he's been going. What's more as he's matured, he's now displaying more pop. Before, his home run high was a mere six but he's already sent 13 out this season for the Loons.

The only bump in the road came awhile ago when he left the club without permission. It was in a good cause for his first child was about to be delivered in Ogden so, quite naturally, he wanted to be there. He left word with manager Lance Parrish and departed.

Unfortunately, he didn't get the required permission from DeJon Watson, the director of player development. That cost him a seven-day suspension . But daughter Amy was delivered safely, he was at bedside, then returned to Michigan, sat out the week and has been in the lineup since.

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