Center fielder Eury Perez is in another one of his hot-hitting grooves, making good contact and seeing the ball well, now two months into his Double-A Harrisburg season.
The (just turned) 22-year old Dominican has gone 15-for-38 (.395) the past 10 games with a double, eight stolen bases, five runs and three RBIs. Perez has struck out only four times during that span and has been caught stealing just once since May 23. During the last nine games, Perez has had four multi-hit contests and three games where he connected for at least three base knocks.
Overall, Perez's average stands at .278 through 48 games, with six doubles, one triple, 20 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.
Harrisburg manager Matt Lecroy told me on 106.7 The Fan's "Nats Insider" that it has not been smooth sailing the whole season for Perez, but the talented prospect has found a way to figure out a consistent approach and they are now seeing results.
"He has made some good adjustments," Lecroy said. "We all know he started out really hot, then he hit a spot where he struggled with the bat. He has got back with it."
Lecroy said a sign of a hitter feeling good at the plate is his ability to spray the ball to all fields. That is where Perez is right now.
"He is hitting the ball up the middle, to the other side and right field, just using the whole field," Lecroy said. "To me, the sky is the limit with Eury if he can continue this approach he has to the baseball."
Center field has been a position the Nationals have worked very hard to fortify, and the importance of Perez to the franchise is evidenced in his place on the 40-man roster. One major component of playing in the middle of the outfield is having to patrol a great deal of real estate and being able to get the ball in quickly. Perez has shown the tools to accomplish both requirements.
"His defense has been outstanding," Lecroy said. "(On Sunday,) he made a good throw to get a runner early in the ballgame. He is playing well, making good adjustments, so I am proud of how he is doing."
Lecroy believes the Senators have the best defense in the Eastern League and they already have shown they have the best pitching.
The Nationals will not tip their hand as to when Perez might get a call to Triple-A Syracuse. But Perez has made nice progress in learning the intricacies of what is required of a baseball professional, from the moment he arrives at the park to the moment they turn out the lights.
The focus necessary for each swing in batting practice, or every grounder in warmups, can be just as important as those three hits in a game. With consistency building in Perez's game day in and day out, the Nationals feel good about the trust they placed on Perez from the beginning of this season.