Perez Begins His New Journey

Not many people have the opportunity to live out their lifelong dream. For Stony Brook's Andres Perez, who signed with the Yankees on Friday as an undrafted free agent, he is realizing that dream. But for the Yankees themselves, they may have signed an undrafted free agent with some significant upside.

"It has always been my dream to play for the New York Yankees," Andres Perez told PinstripesPlus.com hours after signing his first professional contract. "I'm a big Yankee fan all of my life. My family is so happy right now. We all watch the Yankee games at our house and it's like they are in Yankee Stadium, screaming and cheering them on and all."

The New York City native, who won the city batting title in his junior year of high school after hitting .643, went undrafted this year after hitting .327 with seven home runs and 29 RBI with Stony Brook in his fourth year of college.

"The one thing I know for sure is that the draft is unpredictable," Perez said about not being selected in June's MLB Draft. "When I didn't get drafted, I just focused on getting better every day. I didn't get too down not being drafted. It wasn't like I was depressed or anything."

"I was disappointed but took it as motivation that somebody just overlooked me," he continued. "I was more focused on finishing the season strong, that was more important to me. I've always wanted to play pro baseball and now I will."

Opening some eyes around baseball this summer, the 6-foot, 210-pound Perez hit .355 for the Torrington Twisters, second in the New England Collegiate League in batting average, with eight doubles and six home runs prior to being named to the First-Team All NECBL and ranked as the Top Pro Prospect in the entire league (ranked second by Baseball America) by league officials, coaches, and players.

"I guess I'm an exciting player to watch kind of guy," Perez described his style of play. "I'm a high energy guy that will make the diving play, hustle around the bases for a triple when we need a big hit. I don't know. When I play, my passion comes out on the field."

Possessing all five tools in his bag - able to hit for power and average, speed, good arm and solid defensively - Perez has upside to his game and he may not be your normal run of the mill undrafted free agent signing.

"Andres possesses both speed and power," Stony Brook Head Baseball Coach Matt Senk told us. "He is a consistent line drive hitter that uses the whole field. Andres is also an accomplished bunter. I believe these offensive attributes will allow Andres to hit for average professionally."

"Andres should be utilized in the top of the order," Senk added. "He has the ability to be a table setter, can steal bases but also has the pop to hit the ball out of the park."

"Hitting for both power and average," Perez listed as his strongest attributes. "I'm not a home run hitter, but if you put it in my zone, I'll hit it out. I'm more of a gap-to-gap hitter with occasional power."

Versatile offensively, it is Perez's ability to play a multitude of positions defensively that will give the Yankees some flexiblity and allow him more opportunities in the organization. Able to play second base because of his quick feet and third base because of his strong arm, he also has the ability to play all three outfield positions.

"I guess I see myself as an outfielder. I like roaming the outfield. Besides, it's not like Jeter is going anywhere," Perez jokingly said of his shortstop days. "I like playing centerfield and second base."

"I could see Andres playing second base or the outfield," said his college coach. "He has the skills to handle multiple positions. However, if I had to choose one position it would be the outfield. As an outfielder, he again is very versatile and definitely has the speed to play centerfield and the arm strength to play right field."

Growing up a Yankee fan, Perez sees some similarities between his game and a former Yankee second baseman now turned outfielder.

"I guess I'm kind of like Alfonso Soriano because of the quickness of the bat through the zone," said Perez. "[Like Soriano] I think I have pretty good tools as well. People have compared me to him in the past."

Coach Senk can't help but come up with a different comparison because of his versatility.

"I might be dating myself slightly but he reminds of a former Yankee who was a valuable member of their clubs and several other Major League clubs, Randy Velarde," said Senk. "Despite having Major League arm strength, Andres sometimes is inconsistent in his throwing accuracy."

The immediate future is unknown for Andres Perez. It remains to be seen if he will work out at the minor league complex for a while or join the Yankees at the Instructional League, but whenever he does begin his workouts, he has a good idea of what he wants to work on first.

"I have good speed, but I want to work on getting out of the box quicker," Perez said of his speed game. "I got spiked in my leg this year and I had to sit out a while. I didn't like being on the bench so I came back a littler quicker than I should have and I couldn't slide on it. I want to improve on a lot of things, but stealing bases and working on my quickness would probably be the thing I want to work on the most."

Signing with the Yankee organization is only the start of realizing his childhood dream. As excited as he and his family are, Perez realizes this means he needs to work even harder.

"It's a new journey now that I've signed with the Yankees," he said. "I can't start slacking."

Coach Senk isn't worried about Perez's work ethic at all and he believes he has what it takes to make an impact in the pros.

"Andres is one of the hardest working, finest young men I have ever had the pleasure to coach," Senk concluded. "Andres will be a great addition to the Yankee organization."

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It has always been my dream to play for the New York Yankees,\" Andres Perez told PinstripesPlus.com hours after signing his first professional contract. \"I'm a big Yankee fan all of my life. My family is so happy right now. We all watch the Yankee games at our house and it's like they are in Yankee Stadium, screaming and cheering them on and all.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe New York City native, who won the city batting title in his junior year of high school after hitting .643, went undrafted this year after hitting .327 with seven home runs and 29 RBI with Stony Brook in his fourth year of college.
\r\n
\r\n\"The one thing I know for sure is that the draft is unpredictable,\" Perez said about not being selected in June's MLB Draft. \"When I didn't get drafted, I just focused on getting better every day. I didn't get too down not being drafted. It wasn't like I was depressed or anything.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I was disappointed but took it as motivation that somebody just overlooked me,\" he continued. \"I was more focused on finishing the season strong, that was more important to me. I've always wanted to play pro baseball and now I will.\"
\r\n
\r\nOpening some eyes around baseball this summer, the 6-foot, 210-pound Perez hit .355 for the Torrington Twisters, second in the New England Collegiate League in batting average, with eight doubles and six home runs prior to being named to the First-Team All NECBL and ranked as the Top Pro Prospect in the entire league (ranked second by Baseball America) by league officials, coaches, and players.
\r\n
\r\n\"I guess I'm an exciting player to watch kind of guy,\" Perez described his style of play. \"I'm a high energy guy that will make the diving play, hustle around the bases for a triple when we need a big hit. I don't know. When I play, my passion comes out on the field.\"
\r\n
\r\nPossessing all five tools in his bag - able to hit for power and average, speed, good arm and solid defensively - Perez has upside to his game and he may not be your normal run of the mill undrafted free agent signing.
\r\n
\r\n\"Andres possesses both speed and power,\" Stony Brook Head Baseball Coach Matt Senk told us. \"He is a consistent line drive hitter that uses the whole field. Andres is also an accomplished bunter. I believe these offensive attributes will allow Andres to hit for average professionally.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Andres should be utilized in the top of the order,\" Senk added. \"He has the ability to be a table setter, can steal bases but also has the pop to hit the ball out of the park.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Hitting for both power and average,\" Perez listed as his strongest attributes. \"I'm not a home run hitter, but if you put it in my zone, I'll hit it out. I'm more of a gap-to-gap hitter with occasional power.\"
\r\n
\r\nVersatile offensively, it is Perez's ability to play a multitude of positions defensively that will give the Yankees some flexiblity and allow him more opportunities in the organization. Able to play second base because of his quick feet and third base because of his strong arm, he also has the ability to play all three outfield positions.
\r\n
\r\n\"I guess I see myself as an outfielder. I like roaming the outfield. Besides, it's not like Jeter is going anywhere,\" Perez jokingly said of his shortstop days. \"I like playing centerfield and second base.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I could see Andres playing second base or the outfield,\" said his college coach. \"He has the skills to handle multiple positions. However, if I had to choose one position it would be the outfield. As an outfielder, he again is very versatile and definitely has the speed to play centerfield and the arm strength to play right field.\"
\r\n
\r\nGrowing up a Yankee fan, Perez sees some similarities between his game and a former Yankee second baseman now turned outfielder.
\r\n
\r\n\"I guess I'm kind of like Alfonso Soriano because of the quickness of the bat through the zone,\" said Perez. \"[Like Soriano] I think I have pretty good tools as well. People have compared me to him in the past.\"
\r\n
\r\nCoach Senk can't help but come up with a different comparison because of his versatility.
\r\n
\r\n\"I might be dating myself slightly but he reminds of a former Yankee who was a valuable member of their clubs and several other Major League clubs, Randy Velarde,\" said Senk. \"Despite having Major League arm strength, Andres sometimes is inconsistent in his throwing accuracy.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe immediate future is unknown for Andres Perez. It remains to be seen if he will work out at the minor league complex for a while or join the Yankees at the Instructional League, but whenever he does begin his workouts, he has a good idea of what he wants to work on first.
\r\n
\r\n\"I have good speed, but I want to work on getting out of the box quicker,\" Perez said of his speed game. \"I got spiked in my leg this year and I had to sit out a while. I didn't like being on the bench so I came back a littler quicker than I should have and I couldn't slide on it. I want to improve on a lot of things, but stealing bases and working on my quickness would probably be the thing I want to work on the most.\"
\r\n
\r\nSigning with the Yankee organization is only the start of realizing his childhood dream. As excited as he and his family are, Perez realizes this means he needs to work even harder.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's a new journey now that I've signed with the Yankees,\" he said. \"I can't start slacking.\"
\r\n
\r\nCoach Senk isn't worried about Perez's work ethic at all and he believes he has what it takes to make an impact in the pros.
\r\n
\r\n\"Andres is one of the hardest working, finest young men I have ever had the pleasure to coach,\" Senk concluded. \"Andres will be a great addition to the Yankee organization.\"
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