Back in the 2014 the New York Yankees make a massive splash in the international free agent market. Most of the news surrounding their spending spree centered around the offensive players that they were able to sign. So it might be a bit of shock to find out, that one of the best prospects from that signing spree is actually a pitcher by the name of Freicer Perez. Perez may have only signed for $10,000 in 2015, but he’s quickly becoming one of the Yankees most intriguing prospects.
Perez spent the entire 2016 season in the NYPL, and while he didn’t dominate he did enough to get fans and pundits excited about his potential. Perez’ best pitch is his plus fastball, which has reached 100 MPH, and sits 94-97 MPH range. In addition to his fastball he throws a curveball and a changeup. As of now his changeup is a bit more developed than his curve, and both pitches need a lot of work.
Considering that Perez is still just 20-years-old he’ll have plenty of time to refine his secondary pitches, and his rawness is to be expected at his age. Fans shouldn’t think that Perez is behind most players his age, he actually pitched against older competition this year, and did performed decently.
The NYPL is generally where teams send the players that draft out of college, so the average of a hitter in the NYPL league is 21.4-years-old. So Perez was in fact young for the league, and he didn’t perform poorly. He posted a 4.47 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 1.45 WHIP, and a BB/9. His WHIP, and BB/9 are a bit high, but it helps that he showed good strikeout numbers with a K/9 of 8.43.
Due to his size (6’-8”) and his hard fastball it’s easy to fantasize on him being the next Domingo Acevedo. Acevedo’s prospect stock skyrocketed this past season, and it certainly looks like the same could happen with Perez. With that said I think Perez might actually be more advanced at age 20 than Acevedo was. I feel that the fact the Perez skipped the GCL when he made his stateside debut supports that claim.
Perez will probably begin the 2017 season in Charleston, and if all goes well could end the year in Hi-A. I feel that there’s a good chance that by this time next year Perez will be considered one of the Yankees best prospects, and could be a future top-100 prospect.