Prospect Review – Martin Perez – P – TEX


Baseball Reference.Com Profile
Fangraphs Profile
RealGM Profile

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent
Age: 19

Statistics

2008 – Spokane (Northwest League – Rangers Short-Season A) – 15 starts

  • 1-2, 3.65 ERA, 61 2/3 IP
  • 53 strikeouts, 28 walks
  • .343 BABIP, 3.57 FIP

2009 – Hickory (Sally League – Rangers A) – 14 starts, 8 relief outings

  • 5-5, 2.31 ERA, 93 2/3 IP
  • 105 strikeouts, 33 walks
  • .332 BABIP, 2.46 FIP

2009 – Frisco (Texas League – Rangers AA) – 5 starts

  • 1-3, 5.57 ERA, 21 IP
  • 14 strikeouts, 5 walks
  • .374 BABIP, 3.82 FIP

2009 Totals (2 levels)

  • 6-8, 2.90 ERA, 114 2/3 IP
  • 119 strikeouts, 38 walks

Rankings
Baseball America – #3 (TEX – 2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #2 (TEX – 2010) – 5 star
John Sickels – #3 (TEX – 2010) – A-

Analysis

Perez has only been in the Rangers system for 2 years, but is already lighting the system up. He posted back-to-back excellent seasons, first with Spokane, and then in Hickory in the Sally League. The part that I keep coming back to about Perez is not the numbers he posted, but the age at which he posted them. Perez was only 18 years old throughout the 2009 season at Hickory and Frisco. But the majority of the players in the Sally League would have been 19-21, or potentially even older. So Perez faced tougher competition for his age, and performed very well in spite of this.

Perez has a very smooth 3/4 arm angle throwing motion, and throws a solid fastball, a very good curveball, and good changeup. Real GM believes he will more likely be in the mold of a finesse pitcher as he progresses through the minors.

The thing about Perez that I keep coming back to is how young he still is. He will most likely start the 2010 season at AA Frisco, and so I wondered who might be considered a good comparison for Perez and his progression. Two players came to mind for me: Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants.

Hernandez was slightly more advanced than Perez at the age, as Hernandez spent the majority of his 18 year-old season at AA. Hernandez also appeared to be more dominant, posting 172 strikeouts against 47 walks in 149 2/3 IP. Hernandez was sent to AAA the following season, and was in the Majors before the end of his 19-year old season

Bumgarner spent his 18-year old season in the Sally League as well, posting 164 strikeouts against 21 walks in 141 2/3 IP. As a 19 year old, he spent the majority of his time at AA Connecticut, before getting a cup of coffee with the Giants in September. The jury is still out on this one, as he’s probably going to start the season with AAA Fresno I imagine.

Both Hernandez and Bumgarner appear as reasonable comps to me, if only for their similar ages and minor league levels. I think that the Rangers are going to take it more slowly with Perez than the Mariners or Giants did with their respective players.

Outlook

I have to imagine that the Rangers are going to be conservative when it comes to promoting Perez. He will only be 19 years old at the start of the 2010 season, and only pitched briefly at AA. I believe that the Rangers will start him back at Frisco, with the possibility for a promotion to AAA by mid-season depending on his performance. Perez really looks like he’s going to be an excellent pitcher, especially if he can trim down his walks just a little bit.

Prediction for 2010

7-7, 3.30 ERA, 140 IP, 130 strikeouts, 45 walks

Expected ETA

Either 2011 late in the season, or most likely 2012 out of Spring Training

Tomorrow’s Prospect for Review – Brian Matusz (P) of the Baltimore Orioles


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7 responses to “Prospect Review – Martin Perez – P – TEX

  1. Just wondering where you get your scouting info from. Also, do you think wins are an important pitching statistic? Thanks.

    • The scouting info is mostly a conglomeration from a lot of the major prospect websites. I’ve got links to the ones I read consistently on my sidebar. Some of it also comes from watching video out there on the Internet. Youtube is almost always a good source for most prospects. You won’t always find a lot of useful video, but there’s usually at least some to at least help even out the stats with the scouting.

      As for wins, until a player’s at the major league level, I don’t think it’s a particularly good stat to look at when reviewing prospects. There are simply too many variables beyond a pitchers control in the Minors. Obviously, once a player’s in the Majors, the key is to win the game, so it at least becomes some level of important. But in terms of ranking a pitcher, it would probably not be in my top 5 stats I’d look at first.

  2. Nice analysis. Where would you rank Perez among all prospects in baseball, and what leads you to believe he’s more of a finesse pitcher?

    • I would say off the top of my head, that Perez would probably be in the 11-15 range. Probably only because he’s a little farther away than some of the top 10 prospects are.

      As to him potentially being a finesse pitcher, that was from RealGM – http://baseball.realgm.com/src_fromtheupperdeck/92/

      I would be inclined to agree with RealGM though. I don’t foresee his fastball ever getting into elite range, but that he’ll work more with location and control. I would also say that some successful finesse pitchers in my opinion include Johan Santana, Greg Maddux, and Roy Halladay. For the most part, their fastball is not always their dominant pitch.

      • Thanks, yeah I’m thinking 15-20 range with Perez, so very close. I’m excited to see how he does. You’re right that he’s so advanced for his age; he was playing at Double-A last year as a teenager. I’ve heard him compared to Johan Santana a lot.

  3. Pingback: How Are They Doing So Far? Part 2 « Jason's Baseball Blog

  4. Pingback: Prospect Reviews: Midseason Review – AA, High-A, and Low-A « Jason's Baseball Blog

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