To answer the headline, I’m guessing because he’s a 24-year-old in High-A. But his 1.130 OPS is sure to raise some eyebrows — mine included.
After his 4-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI performance on Friday night, Michael Pericht is attempting to make a name for himself in the Dodgers system. It was his second multi-home run game of the season (May 3rd), and he also hit a home run on Saturday night, giving him nine on the season.
My top two Dodger catching prospects coming into the season — Gorman Erickson (Double-A) and Pratt Maynard (Low-A) — have underperformed thus far, and admittedly, I hadn’t given Pericht much consideration as a prospect coming into the season. Now though, while he isn’t ready to leap those two in my rankings by any means (nor may he ever), his power potential as a catcher is awfully intriguing.
Pericht has been playing behind Christopher O’Brien with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes this season, but that could change if he keeps hitting.
Helping his cause, Pericht is posting reverse splits this season, and is playing more against righties.
- Vs. RHP: .343/.418/.771 (!), 8 HR
- Vs. LHP: .304/.385/.565, 1 HR (23 AB)
So, that’s encouraging. However, his 31.4 percent strikeout rate is a bit alarming. He’s shown the ability to get on base (if only a little) in the past, and has an 8.6 percent walk rate this season. He’ll need to improve in both those areas as he either gets more playing time in Rancho or moves up to Double-A.
His defense isn’t much to write about, so I won’t. I will say that his caught stealing percentage is 29% for his career — not great, but not Todd Hundley-esque, either. Of course, that could go down as he moves up.
I’m not ready to declare Pericht the next great Dodger prospect or anything, but the power potential is there, as one would expect out of a 6’5″, 235-pounder.
At the very least, he’s someone to keep an eye on for the rest of the season, and it’d be nice to see him get some extended playing time to see if there’s anything there other than a guy who mashes against younger competition. For that to happen, however, some roster moves would probably have to be made (Austin Gallagher and one other player promoted to make room for O’Koyea Dickson and Pericht in the starting lineup) — moves that might not be made anytime soon.