Sunday, August 12, 2012 | 9:00 PM EST | PETCO Park,
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Without much rest, Dominican prospect goes to work
Jeff Dahn — Friday, August 10 — 7:48 p.m. PDT
There was no one who arrived later or went to work earlier as far as the pre-game on-field activities go at the Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings than the young man from the Dominican Republic.
Fifteen-year-old right-hander Mayky Perez — the first native Dominican prospect to play in the Classic in its 10-year history — didn’t arrive in San Diego until 1:30 a.m. Saturday after a full day of travel on Friday from his home in San Pedro de Macoris, D.R.
PG All American Classic East Team head coach Clyde Metcalf immediately sent Perez out to the mound to pitch the first inning of the PG All-American Classic East-West scrimmage game at Point Loma Nazarene University and the 15-year-old’s fastball hit 90 mph very early in his one-inning outing.
It was an impressive performance by a young man who is being asked to do a lot of growing up in a hurry.
This is the first time that Mayky (pronounced “mikey”) has left his homeland, and the thought occurred to me that the teenager must have felt some trepidation at making such a long journey to a foreign land all by himself.
This wasn’t like flying to Miami or Fort Myers, where so many other Dominicans get their first taste of America. This is the West Coast, the Pacific Coast, and the 15-year-old Perez — who speaks no English –spent 11 hours by himself either in the air or in airports.
He insisted, however — speaking through East Team assistant coach Manny Hermosillo — that was not the case.
“I was waiting for this and I was ready (to make the trip),” he said, intent on not wasting any energy with long replies to a nosy reporter’s questions.
When asked through Hermosillo if he felt a sense of pride at being the first Dominican to be selected to play at the Classic, he was again pretty straight-forward.
“This is very special. I never thought I’d be here,” Perez said, “but I was selected and I’m ready to go forward.”
Perez — listed at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds but appears to be a little more slight than that — said he started playing baseball as an 8- or 9-year-old, and at age 12 was selected to play in the premier Dominican Prospect League with league co-founders Brian Mejia and Ulises Cabrera.
A scouting report on the DPL website describes Perez as “physically impressive (with an) XL frame, long limbs (and) athletic body with muscle tone. … He pounds the strike zone and is not afraid to go after hitters. … He has natural downhill life with occasional 2-seam life down in the zone to RHH … and come July 2nd, 2013 Mayky will undoubtedly be one of the best arms in Latin America.”
Hermosillo coaches at Montgomery High School in the South Bay here in the San Diego area. He was made an assistant coach for the East Team just so he could chaperone Perez, provide him with rides to and from the airport and also help him communicate with his teammates and others, like myself, who wished to speak to the young prospect.
Perez is rooming with Puerto Rican native Jan Hernandez, who is also serviceably bilingual, during his stay in San Diego.