Chris Perez was selected in the supplemental first round (42nd overall) of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft as compensation for the Giants’ signing of free agent Matt Morris. Perez received an $800,000 signing bonus to give up his senior year at the University of Miami. Perez who is 6-4 and 225 pounds, closed for the Hurricanes and amassed 12 saves for a team advancing to the College World Series in 2006. In 2005, he was 2-0 with seven saves and an ERA of 1.24 as a reliever. He also starred on Team USA in the summer of 05, serving occasionally as the team’s closer. That summer, he made seven appearances in relief for the Americans and posted a 1-1 record with two saves. Perez struck out 17 in 13 innings of work and held opponents to .154 average and a 2.7 ERA. He throws an eye-catching slider and a fastball that can reach the mid nineties. Baseball America said he was the closest player to the Majors from the Cardinals 2006 draft. Perez appeared in 25 games for low Class A Quad Cities. He posted 1.84 ERA and 12 saves, allowing 20 hits, striking out 32 and walking 19 in 29.1 innings. Opponents hit .198 against him. According to Baseball Prospectus, “Chris Perez is on the fast track and should be promoted aggressively. As a reliever, he doesn’t need to learn 2 or 3 new pitches like a starter, he just needs to get a little more experience.” He will start the season most likely at Palm Beach, but I would think there is a strong possibility it might start out at Springfield with strong spring performance. If things come together for Perez (he needs to work on control), and with his experience in big games against top notch amateur competition, there is a chance we could see him in St. Louis before the end of 2007.
In reference to an earlier post, I guess the front office of the Devil Rays must be reading this site. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman and senior VP Gerry Hunsicker will be scouting Vanderbilt left-hander David Price on Friday. It also mentions that the Rays are looking for relief help through trade. Maybe they are a team to look at as a trading partner, with the Cardinals having a possible surplus of relief pitching. Maybe Josh Hancock for Scott Kazmir? Or maybe Delmon Young for Randy Flores, but only if they throw in Longoria also. Just poking fun at some of the absurd trade ideas you read out there. Seriously though, maybe a Hancock for a marginal prospect such as second baseman Elliot Johnson. The Rays are going to want someone cheap and not close to free agency. I do not believe they would have much interest in a Looper, unless the Cards are willing to pick up quite a bit of money.
Good article from Mike Lupica on the whole Bonds ordeal. I really enjoy reading him much more than seeing him.
Reason #344 that I am glad I don’t live in Chicago and am not a Cubs fan. It is going to be somewhere around -30 degrees today.