Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2020: Everson Pereira (CF, #13)
Today we continue our Yankees Top-30 Prospects Countdown for the 2020 season with CF Everson Pereira.
As an International free agent, Pereira was seen as a obvious candidate to become an MLB center fielder, with scouts all but guaranteeing it would happen for him in the future. After signing with the Yankees they took those reports and went aggressive with how they’ve handled the Venezuelan outfielder. Starting out his professional career in the Appalachian league as a 17-year-old, he held his own and earned a promotion to the New York/Penn League for 2019. Injuries kept him from many games, but his toolset still shines high as a future player, as he continues to improve his strength, power, and arm strength along with great running and fielding tools.
(Screenshot From Jason Woodell Video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUrVXzNkvLw)
Everson Pereira, CF (#13):
Age/Date of Birth: 19 Years Old (04/10/2001)
2019 Team(s): Staten Island Yankees (Class A Short Season)
2019 MiLB Statistics: .171/.216/.257 (0.473 OPS), 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 4 Walks, 26 Strikeouts (18 Games, 70 At-Bats)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/191 Pounds
Acquired: Signed by the New York Yankees during the 2017 IFA Class
MLB ETA: 2022
Everson Pereira Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):
What to Know:
Ranked as the 5th best international talent going into the 2017 IFA pool, the then 16-year-old Venezuelan product was highly regarded and pinned as a prospect who will become a center fielder in the MLB. His plus fielding and running, along with an arm that at the time was average and expected to improve with age, helped make up for his average bat and slightly-below average power. He quickly signed with the Yankees for $1,500,000 on July 2nd, 2017. Before playing any games, Pereira was already ranked 25th in the Yankees farm system.
As with many young international talents, Pereria would spend 2017 in the Yankees system but not recording any games played, most likely as coaches helped to refine tools, increase strength, etc. When he made his professional baseball debut however, he did impress as he skipped over the DSL and GCL, starting with the Pulaski Yankees (Rookie Advanced) as a 17-year-old. In 41 games he hit to a .263/.322/.389 triple-slash (.712 OPS), but showed places of improvement with a K:BB rate of 60:15 and a GO/AO of 0.86. Even so, Pereira kept moving up the Yankees charts, going from a preseason rank of 24 to 13th at seasons end.
In 2019, the Yankees challenged Pereira again by sending him up to the Staten Island Yankees (Class A Short Season). The Yankees did hold off on a potential move up to the Charleston RiverDogs, which was a reach expectation some believed he may be ready for, and kept him for Extended Spring Training to start the season. Unfortunately, Pereira would only play the greater part of one month before colliding with a video screen in center field, which combined with hamstring and foot issues would end his season after only 18 games. During those 18 games, Pereira looked to be overmatched hitting to a .171/.216/.257 and again showing a bad K:BB rate of 26:4. Starting the season ranked #7 in the farm, this set him back to #9 at mid-season, and dropped him to #13 in the 2020 preseason rankings.
Overall, Everson Pereira is still a top prospect and is starting to prove his offensive capabilities, statistics withstanding. His 33% K rate so far is seen more as a factor of experience and not reflective of his natural abilities. His hand-eye coordination, and quick, fluid swing along with a bump in strength all show this should change soon. Combine that with great speed on the base paths and in the field have allowed him to firmly cement his future in center field. His gaining strength has also led to better his arm, which can play anywhere.
What Will the Future Hold?
Another season with the Staten Island Yankees is to be expected. After a shortened season due to injury and a need for experience it would make sense to allow him to continue to build and refine his game in camps and then look to earn promotions for more playing time. Going into 2019 some people expected a stint with Charleston was in the cards, of which could very well happen again in 2020 if enough games are played and Pereira proves deserving. A 2022 break-in MLB year is looking to be delayed a year, but the Yankees have shown aggressiveness with the center fielder, so anything could happen.
As a prospect, Everson Pereira’s floor is where he ranks now. He should comfortably become an MLB center fielder, given his good fielding at a position where that can truly make a player great with meh offensive numbers. The question is if his offense will get to that next level to make him a star. Cracking the Top-10 with a good season could happen, and with a great season is almost a guarantee given his fall from #7. I don’t know whether to be high or low on him now, but he is a prospect I’m excited to watch grow more.