The Jays Journal staff returns with our yearly Top 30 prospect rankings. The #14 spot goes to a pitcher that was acquired from the Houston Astros at the 2018 trade deadline.
After the deal we saw Giles take over as the Blue Jays closer, and it’s expected that will be the case again this year. Paulino appeared on our prospect rankings a few days ago, coming in at #17, and the third piece in Hector Perez is even a little higher on our list.
Name: Hector Perez
Position: SP Age: 22
Height: 6’3 Weight: 190 lbs
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: Acquired from the Astros in a trade (2018)
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At the time of the trade, Ken Giles was the standout piece of the deal for Toronto, but Perez and Paulino have been garnering attention from Blue Jays fans over the past few months. With all eyes on the future of this ball club, it’s no surprise Perez has been drawing some attention.
In a recent article on sportsnet.ca, Hector Perez, as well as fellow Blue Jays pitching prospect and former Houston Astro Trent Thornton, both say they are “grateful” for the chance they are going to get in Toronto.
Perez pitched across three minor league levels in 2018 – A+, AA, and AAA. Against the highest level he pitched to a 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 25.2 innings for the Houston Astros AAA affiliate last season.
Equipped with four different pitches in his arsenal, the fastball is Perez’s most used pitch. The native of Dominican Republic has two different fastballs — four seamer and two seam fastball.
With his heater ranging from 93-99 mph, Perez has the ability to blow his fastball by hitters. His fastball was given a 65 by MLB Pipeline.
Also equipped with a slider, a curveball, and a splitter, Perez can really keep hitters guessing which pitch he is going to be throwing next.
With his slider being graded a 55, his curveball a 55, and his splitter a 50, MLB Pipeline categorizes all four of his pitches as “plus or better”.
Although Perez has four “plus or better” pitches and a fastball that can touch 99 mph, there is concern over his command. With his walk rate jumping noticeably from his first two seasons to now, it’s easy to envision Perez as a late inning reliever opposed to a starter. His control was graded a 40 by MLB Pipeline.
While Perez could potentially become a back end of the rotation starter sometime in the future, it’s easier to imagine him as a reliever. If Perez can figure out his command and make all four pitches a little more reliable, there’s no doubt he could become a starter someday in the future.
Perez was given an overall scouting grade of 50, and should be an arm to keep an eye on throughout the 2019 season, regardless of where he’s pitching.