Chicago Cubs prospect Yonathan Perlaza on fire in Triple-A

Feb 27, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA;  Chicago Cubs right fielder Yonathan Perlaza (87) hits an RBI
Feb 27, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Yonathan Perlaza (87) hits an RBI / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

If you're unfamiliar with his name, Chicago Cubs fans, it's time to start paying attention to Yonathan Perlaza. After spending all of this season at the Triple-A level, Perlaza is slashing .295/.397/.537 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs in 190 at-bats. He also provides speed on the basepaths, swiping eight in nine tries in 2023. Check out this raw power to the opposite field last night for his 7th dinger of the year:

Last season, Perlaza impressed with a slash line of .255/.358/.492, with 23 homers and 73 driven in at Double-A Tennessee. His massive uptick in production in Iowa has us screaming to see what he can do in the majors. What exactly should we expect from the Cubs front office regarding any near-future call-up for Perlaza?

Chicago Cubs: Navigating Perlaza's path to MLB

With a bit of a log jam in the outfield consisting of Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki, and Mike Tauchman, a call-up for Perlaza still isn't imminent unless the Cubs look to keep Cody Bellinger at first base long-term with the recent demotion of Matt Mervis, they decide to give Christopher Morel a permanent position, and Tauchman begins to fade from the limelight. Nevertheless, there's no reason the Cubs agreed to a deal with Perlaza for the 2023 season to have him avoid the Rule-5 draft if they didn't want to utilize him at some point.

From a fielding perspective, Perlaza has spent 30 games total in the outfield this year in Iowa between right and left field. Combined, he has posted 54 putouts, 11 assists, and two errors, good for a 0.97% fielding percentage. Those numbers will suffice at the major league level, which currently has a league-average fielding rate of .986%. The critical factors for Perlaza are what you get in his bat. His 13.7 BB% and ability to hit for contact have earned him his impressive .402 on-base percentage. The Cubs desperately need more of his switch-hitting 133 wRC+ and .232 ISO in Iowa. The next time the Cubs need to call on an outfielder, expect it to be Perlaza.

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