Sure, Luis Perez is older than most of the guys he’s up against when considering which pitcher has had the best start to the 2010 season in the minors, but it doesn’t stop the fact that his stuff has been ridiculously great so far. If I asked anyone before the season started “who do you believe will have the best start to the 2010 season as a pitcher in the minors?” I would have received answers like Stephen Strasburg, Aroldis Chapman, Madison Bumgarner, or Jeremy Hellickson. But, none of these great arms have come close to performing at the same level as Luis Perez. Here are his stats so far:
April 8th: 3 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, 5 Ks
April 13th: 7 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 3 Ks
April 18th: 7 IP, 1 hit, 1 ER, 4 walks, 3 Ks
For a total of: 17 IP, 2 hits, 1 ER, 6 walks, and 11 Ks on the season. He has a 0.53 ERA, hitters are averaging .039 against him, and all this occurred with his 2 starts against some pretty potent teams – Reading (Phillies affiliate, 6-5), and Binghamton (Mets affiliate, 6-5).
Luis hasn’t done all of this out of the blue, as he did do enough last season to get a Futures Game selection. He finished that season with 27 GS, a 9-11 record, 3.55 ERA, 162.1 IP, 112 Ks, 67 walks, and hitters hit .236 against him. What’s most interesting is that when you go back to before 2009, he was getting about 1 K per inning or more on average, whereas now he seems to be more content to pitch to contact, something he may have picked up by watching Roy Halladay in Toronto. Surely he cannot continue at this pace, but he has earned the consideration to be promoted once, or if, a pitcher is promoted from AAA to the Jays. He is old enough and mature enough to handle a jump to AAA, and has obviously learned all he can in AA based on his 2009 and 2010 numbers. Besides, I also believe that Henderson Alvarez (2 GS, 14 IP, 0.64 ERA, 7 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 6 Ks) deserves a promotion to AA based on his performance, so the pitchers all of the way down the line are ready to make a step up as required.
It shouldn’t be too long before Perez gets a look in AAA and it’s great to know the Jays have a lot more depth than meets the eye in the minors. Because as we all know, you can never have too much pitching.