Fernando Perez vs. Reed Johnson

I can't believe I even have to write this, but apparently ~63% of Cubs fans (at least those frequenting BCB) think Mr. Reed Johnson should be the Cubs fifth outfielder in 2011. This means recently-acquired Fernando Perez would have to use his last precious option in order to play in Iowa.

Let's compare Mr. Johnson and Mr. Perez.

Reed Johnson
  • Hits lefties well: .364 wOBA, 119 wRC+ (career numbers)
  • Absolute liability against righties: .308 wOBA, 81 wRC+
  • Wildly overrated fielder: His UZR over the last 4 years = 3.2 runs saved.
  • TOTAL PACKAGE: Replacement level, at best.
Fernando Perez
  • Killed the minors from 2006-2008: 128 steals, and a near .370 wOBA.
  • Hurt in 2009: Injured his wrist and missed nearly the whole season.
  • Rough 2010: Coming back from his injury, Perez struggled, having his worst offensive season, yet with a BABIP ~.120 points lower than his minor league norm.
  • Speed, speed, speed: Perez is a killer base-stealer and a lightening fast fielder, rating well above-average in both categories.
  • TOTAL PACKAGE: Above average 4th outfielder and pinch runner, with some good potential.
Ultimately, Perez is turning 28 in a month or two and is not likely to light the world on fire -- but he is by far the obvious choice for the Cubs 5th outfielder. It's not even a legitimate discussion.

Image source: Eric Kilby.

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  1. I enjoyed reading Reed's MLBlog, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Perez's MLBlog (or even his regular blog) is going to be a lot better as well.

  2. I think I was under the impression before that Perez was out of options. If that were the case, it would definitely seem like a no brainer to me. If not, I could still see him getting the job if only because he was a guy who was targeted in the big trade this past offseason.

    Brad-- any part of you feel like Perez could be a late bloomer, or that there's any chance he rediscovers his level of production from the past? Needless to say, he's got a lot more upside the Reed.

  3. @Jack: Reed has no upside, and Perez has had one bad season. I think the decision should be an open and shut case.

    Perez never really profiled as a starter -- maybe with time and luck -- but he could easily be a poor man's Juan Pierre, which is to say useful, but not amazing.

    Reed is replacement level. His place is in AAA until something terrible happens on the major league level.

    I too thought Perez was out of option, but I saw others saying he had one left. Where does one find this data?

  4. If Perez gets a look, he will have a MUCH better season this year, and will surprise everyone who underestimates his worth. This kid is bursting with intangible, I've been following him as a Rays fan since he came into the organization, and if he can get past the injury, Cubs fans will see what a fun and interesting player he is to watch.