Former Washington Nationals minor leaguer Eury Perez has been claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves. Perez, who had been in Washington’s minor league system since the age of 17 was claimed from the Nats by the New York Yankees in late September last year, only to be designated for assignment this week after the club signed shortstop Stephen Drew.
With great speed and an ability to hit for average, Perez showed a lot of promise In eight seasons in the Nats’ system. In 700 minor league games he combined to hit .305/.360/.384 with 268 stolen bases. In 193 games at the Triple-A level, he hit .310/.354/.411 with 63 stolen bases. Now at the age of just 24 he will have a chance to compete for an outfield spot for a depleted Atlanta Braves team.
While it’s tough to see a talented young player from our system end up in the division, Perez simply became dispensable for Nats with their logjam of outfielders. Going into the end of last season behind Harper, Span, and Werth you had McLouth, Hairston, Michael Taylor, Steven Souza, and Nate Shierholtz. Perez very well may have had the ability to compete for a fourth outfielder spot with the team, but without the ability to get the playing time needed to prove himself, the club just had to move in a different direction.
All indications though point to Perez having the ability to be a contributor at the Major League level. He’s clearly mastered Triple-A, and at the age of 24 needs an opportunity to play everyday to prove whether he can stick at the highest level. He may just have that with the Braves.