A Look at Rookie Pitchers: Martin Perez

We’re looking at rookie pitchers that matter to your fantasy team. Today we’re going to be looking at 22 year old Texas Rangers lefty Martin Perez. Perez burst onto the prospect scene in 2008 as an 18 year old. He was ranked the #86 prospect in baseball by Baseball America after the 2008 season. In 2010, he showed up at #15 Baseball Prospectus’ Top 100 prospects. So there was a lot of hype associated with this guy and the Rangers pushed him hard. He made the jump to AA ball when he was 18 years old, and saw AAA by the time he was 20. He came up to the majors in 2012 and didn’t get great results. He had a 5.45 ERA and a 1.632 WHIP. Through the minors he’s shown some ability to miss bats (9.1 K/9 in 99.2 AA innings as a 19 year old in 2010), but hasn’t done so consistently enough to say that he will be a strikeout pitcher at the highest level.

So far this season Perez has made 7 starts and logged 42.1 innings. He’s limiting his walks, only giving up walks to 6.0% of the batters he’s faced. After starting out 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his first 5 starts of the season, he’s gone on to lose his last 2 starts, giving up 9 earned runs in 12 innings of work. Even though his ERA was low in his first 5 starts, he was still getting hit around quite a bit. His opponents OPS was .681 which isn’t bad, but his WHIP was 1.35 over that stretch. Because his walk totals are very low, the big problem for Perez is the hits allowed. In his major league career he’s giving up 10.5 hits per 9 innings. In his minor league career he faired a bit better at 9.4 hits per 9 innings. When you’re giving up a hit an inning, even if you can limit your walks, you’re going to get into trouble. When he was striking out a ton of guys in the minors, he was able to get out of the jams he got himself into. Now that he’s lost that loving feeling, those jams are biting him in the ass.

The Rangers were adamant that Perez not be included in the Matt Garza deal so they definitely think he’s going to right his ship and be a valuable major leaguer. I’m not so sure.

Fantasy Angle:
I actually own Perez in a keeper league I’m in and I will probably not be breaking my back to hold onto him. If he can’t display some semblance of ability to strike guys out, I have no use for him. Now, if he is able to turn it around a remember how to miss bats, he becomes a bit more intriguing. I still don’t love that he gets hit so hard. You have to be pretty special in other areas when you are carrying a 1.49 WHIP. He hasn’t struck out more than a batter an inning since 2010 at the AA level. I don’t have a lot of hope left for him. He’s a lefty and they typically take a little longer for things to come together. I wouldn’t hold your breath.

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