Thursday, March 5, 2009

Joe Maddon On Fernando Perez

Fernando PerezBill Chastain has this from Joe Maddon on Fernando Perez and bunting at the big league level:
"Last year, he hit like .700 bunting from the left side at Triple-A," said the Rays manager, shaking his head in disbelief. Indeed, amazing, but there's just one problem: "So far he has not been as good [bunting] here," Maddon said.

Maddon said the problem is not of a physical nature, rather he believes subconsciously Perez feels he has to be quicker or more deceptive when he bunts at the Major League level. "It happens with all young guys," Maddon said. "Remember, he has not played that long, coming from where he has. Bunters want to run before they bunt the ball -- especially the fast guys. ... You see so many guys pulling out and their body moves before the bat. The bat has to move first and then the body moves."

Maddon noted that Perez has perfectly executed the bunt during drills this spring. "He was like 49 out of 50 the other day on the practice field," Maddon said. Games are different, though. "You see the third baseman in close and you feel like you have to be deceptive," Maddon said. "You don't. Just put it down in a good spot and run. And when he really gets comfortable with that, he will do that. He's going to do that. All of a sudden that's going to click and he'll know that's exactly the pace he has to utilize."

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