It is time for another edition of Phillies Prospect Profile. After two straight weeks of pitching prospects, today we look at a corner infielder and outfielder in the Phillies system that is turning heads with the Reading Fightin' Phils. Cameron Perkins, ranked as the Phillies #12 prospect by Baseball America, is currently in his third professional season.
Drafted out of Purdue in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, Perkins, 23, was a first team-all conference third baseman in college. He helped purdue win their first Big Ten title since 1907. Although he was drafted as a third baseman, Perkins has seen time at first base and both corner outfield positions. The dilemma is the 6-5 right-hander has plenty of guys in front of him. At first base, you have Howard, Ruf, Franco. Third base? Asche and Franco. The oufield is currently locked by Dom Brown, Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd and then you have prospects like Aaron Altherr, Zach Collier, Carlos Tocci and Kelly Dugan. You can add Darin Ruf in there as well.
In an article by CSNPhilly's John Finger, Perkins mentioned that he only worries about what he can control, despite having plenty of prospects in front of him.
“I’m really a low-maintenance kind of guy,” Perkins said about his approach to the game. “I don’t pay much attention to things I can’t control. There are good players everywhere you go. You just have to go out there and control what you can control."
“I feel like I can play anywhere,” Perkins said. “Usually I’m a corner infielder and outfielder. I played third in college and I just recently moved to outfield and I’ve been mixing in at first because we have so many outfielders who are hitting so well. Whatever can help me get in the lineup, I’ll do it.”
That being said, with Perkins' hot bat, he could see himself rising above some of those guys sooner than later. After being drafted in 2012, Perkins spent five games in the GCL before suiting up for the Phillies short-season affiliate, the Williamsport Crosscutters. Perkins played first base, third and right field with the Cutters, but impressed at the plate as well. In 67 games for Williamsport, the Phils prospect hit .304 with 23 doubles and 38 RBI. He struck out 41 times, walked 14 and stole five bags.
After an impressive showing at short-season, Perkins skipped Low 'A' Lakewood and spent the 2013 with the Advanced 'A' Clearwater Threshers. Unfortunately, a pitch broke Perkins left wrist, making him miss most of June and an appearance in the Florida State League All-Star Game. He came back with plenty of energy though, finishing third in the FSL in batting at .295. Perkins smacked 30 doubles, six homers and drove in 53 runs. He struck out just 57 times in 387 at bats.
Compared to the likes of Hunter Pence because of his swing and build, Perkins is still polishing his game. He hits plenty of doubles, which will likely change into homers if he gains more muscle weight as he advances through the system.
This season, Perkins is playing for the Phillies Double-A affiliate in Reading, where his bat continues to stay hot. Through 22 games, he has hit an eye-opening .369/.418/.571 at the plate. He has nine doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI. In 17 games played in the outfield, Perkins has a flawless fielding percentage.
If his successes continue, there is no doubt the 23-year old Phillies prospect could see Triple-A action by the end of the year. That is out of our control though. For now? Cameron Perkins will focus on what he can control with the Reading Fightin' Phils.
If you want to see Cameron Perkins in action along with other Phillies prospects in Reading that include Jesse Biddle, Severino Gonzalez, Ken Giles, Kelly Dugan and more, visit the Fightin Phils online. Reading returns home for a six-game homestand starting this Friday, May 1st against the Harrisburg Senators.
Brandon Apter is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock