During his time in Cuba, Daniel Pérez was a highly valued prospect by the FCB, the infielder was part of several Under 23 national teams including the 2020 World Cup in Honduras. Pérez was a key player and the fourth hitter for a Cuban team that finished second in the tournament.
The native of Palmira, Cuba decided to leave the island in 2021 in search of a professional signing. Finally after several years doing showcases for professional teams, the young Cuban managed to sign with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association.
In his seven National Series, the slugger hit .306 with 11 home runs, 143 RBIs and a .387/.398/.786 slash line. With a good performance in the independent circuit this season, Pérez might be able to sign a contract this winter with a Caribbean team and with a Major League Baseball organization or maybe even another foreign professional league.
You haven’t played organized ball since 2021 in Cuba, how have you prepared for your first professional season?
Yes, my last season was in 2021 but I have been preparing myself since I got here. I have not stopped training with my people and I have a lot to be thankful for, first of all my agents. David and José who were the ones who gave me the opportunity to join them in their agency and are the ones who currently represent me. I also have a lot to thank my coaches for, Yobal (Dueñas), Ángel López and especially Roberto Carlos, who has been training with me the most and supporting me. Also to the physical trainer Billy who cannot be overlooked. He has helped me with the physical aspects of the game. I have spent these two years correcting things and making adjustments to things that I had been dragging me down as a player since Cuba and thank God I have been able to correct all these minor things.
What are your goals for this season in the American Association?
My goal this season is, first of all, to do my best and show my quality. The quality of the Cuban baseball player wherever he arrives is undeniable. Succeeding is the main thing and helping the team that has given me the opportunity to join them so that I can shine and hopefully many good things will come from all this.
You will play in a different environment than the one in Cuba this year, will that affect your performance?
I don’t think it affects me because in the end baseball in Cuba, here and wherever you are is the same: nine innings, in three outs an inning ends, all normal. Getting ready, which is what I have been doing up to now during all this time. I think that I am physically and mentally ready to face this challenge. My objective now is to do well in this league.
Are there plans to play in a league for Daniel Pérez this winter?
Yes yes, my plans are always to play baseball. But first of all I want to face this challenge that I have now and then my agents will take care of looking for something this winter if everything goes well by God’s grace. I’m going to keep going and fighting, my goals are very high. Continue playing ball and set the bar high, which is what my family and I have always fought for. I’m living by the values that they always instilled in me, which is: keep going and succeeding.