Of all the top pitching prospects who have made their Major League debut so far in the 2023 season, the most exciting one of all may be right around the corner: the Miami Marlins announced on Wednesday that 20-year-old Eury Perez, a consensus top-10 prospect in all of baseball, will be jumping from Double-A straight to the Show:
The Miami Marlins are calling up 20 year old top pitching prospect Eury Perez. This historical start will be Friday Night at loanDepot Park against the Cincinnati Reds per sources.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) May 10, 2023
Perez is slated to make his MLB debut at home on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. With Trevor Rogers and Johnny Cueto on the shelf with biceps injuries, many wondered whether the Marlins might consider promoting their prized prospect as they continue to hang in the NL Wild Card race. Apparently Perez’s video-game numbers in Double-A — a 2.32 ERA with 42 strikeouts in just 31 innings so far this season — were all the team needed to see.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic for just $200,000 back in 2019, the right-hander has rocketed up prospect lists from pretty much his first pitch in the Minors in 2021. But just who is Perez, and why should baseball fans and fantasy managers care whether he gets the call?
Eury Perez fantasy impact
The first thing to know about Perez: My man is tall. Perez was listed at 6-foot-4 when he signed that contract with Miami, but by the time he made his pandemic-delayed debut two years later, he’d shot up at least four more inches — if you believe the 6-foot-8 listing the Marlins currently have for him, I have a bridge to sell you.
Eury Perez looked great today in his start.— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) May 3, 2023
5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 1 HR#Marlins pic.twitter.com/NL0v2ycEQs
Good luck staring that down from 60 feet, six inches away. Unsurprisingly, Perez sits in the mid-90s with his plus fastball, running it up to 100 when he needs to — and despite a frame that is conservatively at least 70% legs, he keeps his delivery compact and commands the pitch pretty well. The heater might not even be the best part of his repertoire, considering the strides his changeup has made over the last year or so (and considering the Marlins’ recent track record in developing the pitch with guys like Pablo Lopez and Sandy Alcantara).
Sure, you’d like for your top pitching prospects to be built a little more like Gerrit Cole and a little less like Gumby. And Perez did suffer from some shoulder fatigue in 2022, so questions remain about his ability to hold up over a full-season workload. (He’s thrown 78 and 77 innings over the last two seasons.) But the righty offers a complete arsenal that he commands well, and he’s shined at every level despite being much younger than his peers — tearing up A-ball as an 18-year-old, holding his own in Double-A at 19, tearing up Triple-A at 20, all while posting K/9s of 12 or higher. The Reds in a pitcher-friendly home park will offer a cushy landing spot for his MLB debut, and his ability to attack both righties and lefties — and his immense strikeout upside — make him a recommended add in every league.