Fabian Pertuz – Picture by Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The last time I wrote about Fabian Pertuz at length, he just finished a scintillating campaign in the Dominican Summer League. In 2018, the then shortstop led the entire Cubs system in wRC+ at 147. A lot has happened since that profile over at Cubs Central.
Height – 6-foot
Weight – 150 (when signed)
Signed in 2017 is an international free agent
From Barranquilla, Colombia
Last spring, Pertuz did not make the Myrtle Beach opening day roster. Instead, he showed up towards the end of May and flashed a little bit of talent from time to time. For the year, the stats were a bit underwhelming as he hit .223 and had an on base percentage of .287. He played mostly second base and got some work in at third base.
What has improved from last year is his ability to adapt to advanced competition. Going from the Dominican Summer League at 17-years-old to Rookie Ball at 18 and then Low A Myrtle Beach at 20 with no stops in between is quite the extensive jump. Short season A ball in Eugene is no longer an option and provided a place to adjust for a lot of young inexperienced hitters.
What has helped Pertuz adjust this year is his pretty swing.
In examining his monthly splits from last year, I found a few key interesting things. He killed it during day games hitting over .300. At night, he hit just barely over 200. He also hit 63 points higher against left-handers than he did against right-handers. Pertuz’s home-road splits were about the same and his monthly batting averages were up-and-down. If you graphed them out, they would look exactly like a roller coaster.
So, heading into this year as a 21 year old, I was a little surprised to see Pertuz get assigned to South Bend. Imagine my surprise when on opening night, he cranked the first home run for the club.
While this year‘s sample size is pretty small, he’s off to a fairly decent start and he’s showing a really good eye at the plate and that’s gorgeous swing is still there. What’s going to be interesting to watch as the season goes on is how much he’s going to play second and how much he’s going to play third. There’s even a small possibility he could get in some work at shortstop.
In watching him play, I still have to remind myself that he’s just 21 and playing at high A. While that’s a big accomplishment in and of itself, he seems to be handling it pretty well.
What I really like so far this year is that he seems to be pretty consistent day in and day out. He’s passing on pitches and taking his walks when there’s nothing to hit. That’s hard to teach a 21-year-old with less than 700 career ABs.
It’s going to be fun to watch Pertuz develop this spring and I am excited to see him play three or four times next week in the Quad Cities.