San Francisco Giants: The Biggest Moments From Departed Giants

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Oct 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Juan Perez hits a two-run double against the Kansas City Royals in the 8th inning during game five of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Perez

For most of his time as a Giant, Juan Perez was a sixth or seventh outfielder on the depth chart, and didn’t really have a chance to showcase himself at the major league level. Despite his lack of a defined role and consistent playing time, Perez still managed to have a pair of huge moments with the team.

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  • His first big moment came on the biggest stage in baseball, the World Series, of all places. On October 26th, 2014, 22-year-old St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend Edilia Arvelo were killed in a car accident. Perez, who was good friends with Taveras from their time as teammates in winter ball, heard about the accident that night, in the middle of game five of the World Series. With puffy eyes, Perez was called upon to pinch hit in the eighth inning with two runners on, facing Kansas City Royals’ reliever Wade Davis. In the regular season, Perez batted .170, and Davis held opposing right-hander to a .112 average.

    With the Giants holding a slim 2-0 lead and Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence on base, Perez fell behind in the count 0-2. He worked the count, taking a 90-mph slider for ball one, a 92-mph slider for ball, fouling away a 91-mph slider, and taking a 95-mph fastball upstairs to fill the count. On the 3-2 pitch, Davis pumped a 96-mph fastball, but Perez crushed it to center field, where it crashed against the wall, literally inches from leaving the yard. Sandoval scored easily from second, Pence followed suit from first, and Perez’s double became worth three bases with a bad relay throw.

    After Perez slid into third base, he pumped his fist towards the Giants’ dugout and released a primal yell, unleashing all the emotions he was holding in. The Giants would win the game 5-0 and go on to win the World Series, giving Perez his first championship ring.

    On August 19th, 2015, Perez completed one of the defensive plays of the year, not just for the Giants, but for the entire MLB. With Matt Cain against the St. Louis Cardinals, Stephen Piscotty launched a fastball into right-center field. Perez, playing center field that day, raced backwards and leapt at the wall. He planted both his feet just to the right of the National Car Rental sign on the Busch Stadium wall, and made an incredible basket catch over the shoulder, bringing back a home run.

    After parts of three seasons with the Giants, Perez is headed to Chicago after signing a minor league contract with the Cubs. He was never the greatest option for the Giants, but he could play the heck out of the outfield.

    Next: Nori Aoki