JUPITER, Fla.—Heading into the World Wood Bat Association Championship, most of the top prospects are already well-known to the scouting community. But every so often, a player will step forward and establish himself as someone to keep an eye on. On Friday night, righthander Aaron Perry (Hurricane High, West Va.) showed excellent stuff and established himself as a prospect for scouts to follow in the spring.
Getting the start for Kentucky Baseball Club, Perry showed off explosive arm speed, and his first pitch of the game checked in at 95 mph. He eventually settled in and pitched at 89-91, touching 94 often early in the game. Perry also effectively used his hard slider; the pitch registered at 82-85 and showed late vertical snapping action. It has the chance to be an above-average or better pitch as Perry gains strength and finds consistency.
Perry threw three scoreless innings, striking out three, walking one and allowing two hits in the process, setting the stage for a 6-4 victory for Kentucky Baseball Club. After the win, Perry said that he hadn’t previously thrown quite as hard, and that he felt amped up with a large crowd of scouts watching him.
He has some things to overcome as an undersized 5-foot-10 righthander, but Perry projects as a solid relief prospect at some point; he’s committed to Kentucky, and he has the stuff to develop into a solid contributor at an early stage in his collegiate career.
Perry could be the top prospect out of the state of West Virginia this year. The Mountain State has seen just three high school players drafted in the past five drafts, and neither of them has signed. The last prep player to sign professionally out of high school was 2010 Diamondbacks second-round pick J.R. Bradley.
“There’s definitely good baseball in West Virginia,” Perry said of the challenge of transitioning to playing in Jupiter. “But down here you face the best kids in the country.”
On the big stage, Perry shined, and had scouts circling his name as a player to see this spring.