Pedro Perez gave a new approach a try Thursday. Based on the results, it's unlikely he will abandon it any time soon.
The Mets infield prospect homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs as Rookie-level Kingsport pounded out 19 hits en route to a 20-4 win over Johnson City.
Perez got the scoring started with a three-run blast in the second inning for the Mets. Four innings later, the 18-year-old third baseman repeated the feat. Then he drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh to finish his big day.
Perez, who also singled, entered the game batting .219 in eight games for the Mets. The Colombian native had been working hard in practice to change all that.
"Excellent day for him today," Kingsport manager Jose Leger said. "He changed his stance so he went into his two-strike approach right out of the chute instead of waiting until he had two strikes. This is his first game trying this approach and he got the results right away."
Perez was signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2011. He spent that season playing in the Dominican Summer League, where he batted .262 with 38 RBIs in 61 games. Perez missed time last year battling injuries and collected just five hits in 12 games for Kingsport. In addition to changing his stance, he made one other big change.
"This season he struggled a little bit early, but it was just a matter of time for him to start hitting the ball," Leger said. "He's hitting for the right side only as opposed to being a switch-hitter, so he's adjusting to seeing a right-handed pitcher batting right-handed. He's a guy that brings a lot to the table. We all know about his potential."
Champ Stuart, a sixth-round pick by the Mets last month, doubled twice and drove in four runs out of the leadoff spots Known for his fleet feet -- he was graded at an 80 by scouts in the speed category -- Stuart has shown plenty of other tools for the Mets, batting .265 while drawing 13 walks in 11 games.
"He's showing me something, he has a good nose for the strike zone," the 31-year-old manager said. "It's amazing to see him get going, he puts the ball on the ground and it's trouble for the infielders. He does have some pop and it comes from his bat speed."
Joe Tuschak was 4-for-5 with four runs scored and Michael Bernal slugged a three-run homer as the Mets scored 17 times over the final four innings. That accounted for the most runs scored in an Appalachian League contest since Danville plated 27 exactly two years ago. For Kingsport, it was the most runs scored by the club since MiLB.com began in 2005.
Robert Whalen gave up a run on two hits and walked four over three innings, but did not figure into the decision for the Mets. Luis Rengel tossed three three-hit frames to improve to 1-1.