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2016 MLB Draft: Delvin Perez, SS, Ceiba, Puerto Rico

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Many teams prefer an "up the middle" approach on draft day, targeting players who can stay at the most difficult defensive positions: shortstop, center field, catcher. Young athletes who can stay at shortstop and have a chance to hit are especially coveted, factors that will certainly land Delvin Perez in the first round of the 2016 class next month.

Perez is a 6-3, 165 pound right-handed hitter born November 24th, 1998, making him just 17 on draft day. From the International Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, he has been in the spotlight due first to his defensive tools, namely the electric athleticism scouts want to see up the middle. He has a strong arm, too, at least a 60, as well as the range, hands, and instincts to be an above-average big league shortstop, perhaps an excellent one if he becomes sufficiently reliable on routine plays.

The question for Perez is hitting. He has wiry strength and could grow into some power as he matures. He already has good bat speed and has made progress refining his hitting mechanics, but his strike zone judgement and ability to recognize breaking pitches need work. He should hit for average but without more progress with his approach his OBP may be too low for him to make full use of his above-average running speed on the bases.

Keep in mind, however, that he is only 17 years old. When he's a finished product Perez could very well be a significant offensive force.

Another positive for his draft status: Perez does not have a college commitment and is certainly signable. He will need some time to develop, but his package of defensive skills, offensive potential, youth, and affordability will likely put him in the top ten picks in the draft.

Video from Prospect Pipeline