D-backs prospect Perdomo shining in AFL at 19

October 16th, 2019

PEORIA, Ariz. – The Arizona Fall League has been known for years for its high-caliber, advanced-level talent, most of which has come from the Double- and Triple-A levels. The doors were opened this year to more lower-level talent and there’s no doubt the league has been better off for it.

D-backs infield prospect Geraldo Perdomo is one of six teenagers in Arizona this fall and he’s perhaps done as much as any prospect in terms of opening eyes and raising his stock. The 19-year-old was at it again on Wednesday afternoon, hitting a leadoff home run to put Salt River on the board en route to a 4-2 victory over Peoria.

“I feel super excited about it,” Perdomo said about his first Fall League home run. “I always try to get line drives, put the ball in play, get some hits. But I do have some power. I can probably do that in the future, once I get stronger and get some pounds on, get some man muscles, I feel like I can do it.”

Power hasn’t really been a part of his game to date in the Minor Leagues, but he’s done a lot of other things extremely well. A supremely gifted defender, the D-backs’ No. 7 prospect has shown an advanced approach at the plate that belies his age, along with an ability to make consistent contact. He’s walked more than he’s struck out in his career while playing across two levels of A ball in his full-season debut in 2019. He’s also stolen 50 bases in the last two years and even knows how to bunt, a dying art. It’s something rarely seen in the AFL, but that didn’t keep Perdomo from laying one down on his own in the seventh with runners on first and second and no one out.

“That’s also part of my game,” Perdomo said. “I knew the situation and I wanted to move the runners over.”

He’s rarely had to sacrifice himself this fall, and he’s now hitting .313/.403/.422 with four extra-base hits. That puts him only behind the Nationals’ Luis Garcia in terms of teenage batting average. He clearly doesn’t shy away from facing older and tougher competition. His home run came against Pirates 25-year-old right-hander Cody Ponce, who has considerable time at the upper levels of the Minors.

“I feel super happy about it,” Perdomo said. “I’m embracing the challenge. I’m very happy to be playing against Triple-A and Double-A guys. I’m going to use all of the experience for next year and the years to come.”

And he has a stable of young guys to talk to, and he has discussed the challenge of being in the AFL with the Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez, who is the youngest player in the league. But he’s actually been able to compare notes with a teammate who is more of a “grizzled veteran” than he is: Royce Lewis, who turned 20 back in June and did reach Double-A in 2019.

“I haven’t talked to all of the other teenagers in the league, but I talk a lot with Royce because he’s one of the younger [players], too,” Perdomo said. “We talk a lot and we’ve been helping out each other.”

A bonus for Perdomo has been the ability to play at home. Salt River Fields is the D-backs Spring Training facility and a place the young infielder has spent a lot of time at, from the rookie-level Arizona League to instructional league and mini-camps run by Arizona’s player development staff. He also knows he’s getting to showcase his skills in front of D-backs fans who are likely seeing him for the first time and who now must be excited to see him eventually at Chase Field, but maybe not as excited as he is.

“I feel super happy about it, when I’m playing in front of my home fans,” Perdomo said. “I’m embracing this as a challenge for my future.”