Freicer Perez was signed by the New York Yankees from out of the Dominican Republic as an international free agent in 2014 and has started off 2017 with the Charleston RiverDogs. When asked to give a scouting report on Perez, RiverDogs’ manager Pat Osborn had this to say, “6’8” right-handed starting pitcher. If you look at the publications, he’s rated up there as one of our top prospects. Last time out in spring training, he was up to 101 miles per hour. Curveball, changeup.”
In his last start, Perez unveiled a new pitch to his arsenal – a devastating slider. “He threw it once and I look over to (RiverDogs’ pitching coach) Justin Pope and said, ‘That was a slider?’, and he said yeah. So he broke it out tonight and looks to be a good pitch for him,” Osborn said.
“The coaching staff has helped add that pitch for me. I have been in the bullpen working on it in the bullpen and it’s worked for me,” Perez said.
Perez was discovered through a showcase his agent had setup.
“There was a scout who would go to every country to see players and my agent got him to the complex to see me,” Perez said.
The Yankees liked what they saw and signed the 18-year-old talent. “I felt really good for the opportunity to play for the Yankees,” Perez said.
The Yankees assigned him to the Dominican Summer League Yankees 1 team where he went 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA. In 69 and 2/3 innings, Perez struck out 69 batters while walking 17.
That performance earned Perez a promotion to Staten Island for 2016. Perez posted a 2-4 record with a 4.47 ERA. He struggled with his command, walking 25 batters in 52 and 1/3 innings pitched calculating out to 1.452 WHIP.
This year, Perez has struggled again with his command walking 10 batters in 19 innings pitched for Charleston. It’s something he’s been focusing on.
“I’m still working on a lot of things with my command in the bullpen to improve that,” Perez said.
One of the ways Perez is battling his command issues is through being aggressive.
“I attack the strike zone first pitch, I just try to play with the mind of the hitter,” he said.
Perez has posted a 5.21 ERA so far this year, but he had his best start of the season in his last outing against the Lakewood BlueClaws. Perez went five innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out four.
As for having any issues adapting to life in the United States, Perez hasn’t been affected.
“It’s baseball, so it doesn’t matter where you play it,” Perez said. “I enjoy the game and like to have fun.”