On January 23rd it was announced that the Braves had claimed outfielder Eury Perez from the Yankees. Though he has only 23 at-bats in the bigs, Perez is competing with Eric Young Jr. for the Opening Day Centerfield spot with Melvin Upton Jr. sidelined. Perez hit .310 in 242 at-bats in the minors last season, most of which in AAA. He also stole 26 bases, as he has a ton of speed. I think ultimately Center is Eric Young Jr.’s job to lose until Upton gets back, but Perez at the very worst is quality organizational depth and is only 24. If Upton’s struggles continue and Young has trouble this season, Perez could see his role in the organization grow fast. Gordon Blakeley was a top scout for the Yankees until this season when he agreed to become an assistant to John Hart. This is one of a handful of moves he was likely instrumental in as the Braves continued to pluck away pieces for the Yankees’ farm system. Claiming Perez is a move with no risk for Atlanta. Perez is 8 for 26 so far this spring (.308). He will likely begin the year in AAA Gwinnett.
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