This unheralded prospect is tearing up Single-A with his bat

May 14th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Juan Toribio’s Dodgers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga roster came out last month, most of the eyes immediately went to -- and deservingly so -- outfielders and .

In a short amount of time, De Paula has established himself as the No. 83 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. George, on the other hand, is the Dodgers’ No. 11 prospect after being selected in the first round of the 2023 Draft. Both George and De Paula have very promising futures.

Through all the excitement around other players on the roster, it was easy to overlook third baseman Jeral Perez, a 19-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic. Perez came into the season not ranked as one of the Top 30 prospects in the Dodgers’ system. Well, after 106 at-bats with Rancho Cucamonga, Perez is making quite the case to be included.

Over the winter, Perez underwent some minor mechanical changes while batting. He’s standing much closer to the plate, which has allowed him to cover the zone and do damage. Perez has some of the best raw power in the system, leading Rancho Cucamonga with four homers. In 136 Minor League games, he has 23 homers.

Perez is still a few years away and will likely spend the rest of the 2024 in Single-A as he continues to adjust to higher competition. Perez has officially put himself on the radar, but now needs to show consistency over the course of a Minor League season.

Let’s take a look at what else has stood out in the Dodgers’ system:

Triple-A Oklahoma City: continues to open eyes in Triple-A, hitting a grand slam on Sunday against Sugar Land. Vargas, who could be a callup option later in the season, has eight homers and 37 RBI this season. The 24-year-old Cuban outfielder has a 1.017 OPS through 36 games.

Double-A Tulsa: After a miserable start to the season offensively, showed signs of life on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with a homer and a double. Los Angeles’ No. 8 prospect has seen his stock fall over the past year, but a resurgence at the plate would go a long way for the Venezuelan catcher.

High-A Great Lakes: Left-hander , the Dodgers’ No. 14 prospect, continues to build up every start and has now tossed seven consecutive scoreless innings. Bruns has the stuff to be one of the best pitching prospects in the Minors, but he eventually needs to prove he can pitch deep into games.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga: George continues to be a nightmare on the basepaths, racking up 10 stolen bases already this season. The outfielder is the fastest player in the organization.