- Full name Hector Antonio Perez
- Born 06/06/1996 in Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 223 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 09/16/2020
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: The Astros gave Perez $45,000 to sign out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. Within a few years, his velocity exploded and he developed into one of Houston's top pitching prospects. At the 2018 trade deadline, the Astros sent Perez and two others to the Blue Jays for closer Roberto Osuna.
Scouting Report: Perez's best pitch is his fastball, though his velocity fluctuates from start to start. He can reach 99 mph, though typically he sits around 92-96 mph. Perez has struck out more than a batter per inning at every full-season club he's pitched for, despite not having a true out-pitch. He throws a hard slider that's more notable for its power than its depth, coming in anywhere from 88-91 mph. It flashes as an average pitch, though it's not always at that level. He's also working on a fringe-average splitter that he gained confidence in over the course of the season. Perez has a lot of moving pieces in his delivery that he worked to try to simplify in 2018, but he's still erratic with his control.
The Future: Added to the 40-man roster, Perez has a chance to make his major league debut in 2019. He will continue to start for the Blue Jays in the minors, but he could ultimately find a fit as a reliever.
When Hector Perez throws strikes, he dominates. Perez wasn't all that dominant in 2017 because he simply didn't throw enough strikes. Perez is a fast-mover who has gone from the complex leagues to high Class A in two years, but his control problems have forced him to develop survival skills. There's nothing particularly ugly or problematic about Perez's delivery, but he has trouble keeping the timing of it in sync. His wildness has few patterns--he'll spike a ball into the ground after 55 feet and the next ball will be up and out of the zone--but Perez's arm is special. He sits 92-97 mph and touched 99 last season. When he can keep the fastball around the strike zone, it sets up his low-80s plus split-changeup that leaves hitters flailing. He can locate a potentially average slider at times but it and his 78-80 mph curveball can sometimes blend together. Perez's control troubles lead some scouts to already say that the righthander would be better off moving to the bullpen, where he would likely touch 100 mph or better and his split-change would give him a second weapon. But Perez has a good frame and his delivery isn't awful so there's no reason to give up on starting just yet.
Perez spent most of 2015 in the Dominican Summer League but finished 2016 with seven starts at low Class A Quad Cities. When he takes the mound, hitters know what to expect. They better gear up for velocity, because almost everything he throws is hard. They can't get too comfortable in the batter's box, either, because he often misses out of the strike zone. Perez can dominate with a plus 92-94 mph fastball that touches 96. His fastball sets up a wipeout slider that also earns plus grades at its best. He will mix in a bigger, slower high-70s curveball with 11-to-5 action early in counts, and he's working on a split-finger fastball in lieu of a changeup. It flashes average. Perez's control is below-average, and he will struggle to find the strike zone at some point in most every outing. His delivery, though, has no glaring long-term issues to suggest he can't find the strike zone. Perez's all-power approach would work as a high-leverage reliever, but he will be given plenty of opportunities to work through his control issues.
Minor League Top Prospects
Perez struggled early to maintain a repeatable delivery and, as often happens for pitchers with complex deliveries, his control wavered, leading most to believe the strong-armed righthander was destined for the bullpen. But Perez simplified his delivery as the season wore on, and in his final six outings with Buies Creek he upped his strike percentage from 56 percent to 66 percent. Almost everything Perez throws is hard and when he’s not walking batters, he can be nearly unhittable. Working in the Astros’ tandem-starter system, Perez held Carolina League hitters to a .196 average. His mid-90s fastball touched 98-99 and his short, extremely hard upper-80s slider can bump 90 mph as well. Even his changeup is hard, and he throws a splitter that could develop into a plus pitch. Perez pitched well enough to earn a July promotion to Corpus Christi and a late-July change of address when Blue Jays acquired him in the Roberto Osuna trade. Perez’s control will determine whether he starts or relieves, but his pure stuff is enough to get him a shot at the majors.
Perez was spraying the ball all around (but rarely in) the strike zone early in the season, but after some work to simplify and clean up his delivery, he’s throwing many more strikes and seeing the results that come with improved control. With a mid-90s fastball, an improving splitter and a hard 88-91 mph slider, Perez has the stuff to dominate if he can get ahead in counts.
Track Record: When Perez throws strikes, he dominates. He wasn't particularly dominant in 2017 because he walked 6.5 batters per nine innings in a season spent primarily at high Class A Buies Creek. Scouting Report: Perez is a fast mover who has gone from the complex leagues to high Class A in two years, but his control problems have forced him to develop survival skills. There's nothing particularly ugly or problematic about his delivery, but he has trouble staying in sync. His wildness has few apparent patterns--he will spike a ball in the ground after 55 feet and the next ball will be up and out of the zone--but Perez's arm is special. He sits 92-97 mph and has touched 99. When he keeps his fastball around the strike zone, he sets up his plus low-80s split-changeup that leaves hitters flailing. He can locate a potentially average slider at times but it can sometimes blend with his 78-80 mph curveball. The Future: Perez's control troubles lead to speculation that he's destined for the bullpen, where he would likely touch 100 mph, but he has a good frame and his delivery isn't awful, so there's no reason to give up on starting.