2006 Ranking: NR
School: University of Miami
Cardinal: Selected in the supplemental first round (42nd overall) of the
June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft as compensation for the Giants' signing of
free agent Matt Morris. Received an $800,000 signing bonus. 2006 G SV IP H BB K ERA WHIP
Jason Scott (9): The second University of Miami product to appear on our list in the past two days, Perez posted a 1.84 ERA in 25 appearances in his professional debut for Quad Cities this past season. He did allow 19 walks, however, and that could probably be contributed to his tendency to overthrow. The 21-year-old throws a mid-90s fastball, a very good slider, and a changeup. If all goes well, it is possible that Perez could be one of the first 2006 draft picks to reach the major leagues. It wouldn't surprise me to see him in Springfield to start the 2007 season.
Leonda Markee (9): Chris Perez is the second-best 2006 draftee by my rankings. I ranked him as the sixth-best pitching prospect in the system and the five ahead of him are all starters. He held opposing batters to a .141/.253/.141/.395 with men on base and tightened the screws even more with runners in scoring position, .122/.229/.122/.351. Perez averaged over a strikeout an inning. He did struggle a bit both against lefties and with his control, walking an average of almost six batters a game. First-round pick Perez has closer stuff and is expected to move quickly through the system so 2007 should be very interesting. With Jason Isringhausen's future in doubt and Adam Wainwright needed in the rotation, a closer will be needed more sooner than later and having a home-grown one would certainly be a plus.
Ray Mileur (15): The Cardinals drafted Perez in the supplemental first round in 2006, out of the University of Miami-Florida. Perez has a live arm, a good track record in college, and should advance quickly through the system as a reliever and closer.
Perez finished his first professional season with a 2-0 record, 12 saves and a very impressive 1.84 ERA over 29.1 IP, allowing only 6 earned runs. His only blown save came on a passed ball after a dropped strike three with two outs and a runner on 3rd in the bottom of the 9th inning on September 2 at Burlington. I don't care who you are, that is good.
Brian Walton (6): Miami's hard-throwing former closer is being groomed to remain in that role and progress as quickly as possible. His mid-90's fastball and slider look almost ready as he held opposing hitters to a paltry .198 batting average in the Midwest League. Perez has looked great so far, except for too many walks, but so much has been accomplished in his initial half-season as a professional.
Though Jason Isringhausen's future is still in question and his deal comes up after the 2007 season, it would be a stretch to think Perez will be ready for 2008. Yet, fellow recent successful college closers like Huston Street, Jon Papelbon and Chad Cordero were able make the jump quickly.
So, why not Perez? It certainly bears watching, which I will be doing as I am the one here most bullish on Perez' chances.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
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