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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 45: Fernando Pérez

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Photo credit:tn8.tv
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
Lower-minor pitchers who have good performances the year prior are always fun to look at in these lists.
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Fernando Pérez.

Getting to know Fernando Pérez…

Position: Starting Pitcher
Throws: Right
Born: February 12, 2004
Acquired: 2022 International Free Agency
2023 Team: Florida Complex League Jays
Previous Ranking: Unranked
On this list, we have two players from the 2022 International Free Agent class, both of whom are pitchers. We’ve already looked at the 50th-ranked left-handed pitcher Luis Torres, now let’s look at right-handed pitcher Pérez.
Torres had more success in the Dominican Summer League, as Pérez had a 4.53 ERA and a 3.42 FIP in 43.2 innings pitched, or 12 starts. That season, Pérez had a 24.9 K% and an utterly fantastic 2.6 BB% for a 22.3 K-BB%.
Pérez, unlike Torres, made his stateside debut in 2023 as he pitched with the Florida Complex League Blue Jays. With the FCL Jays, Pérez had a 2.72 ERA and a 3 FIP in 49.2 innings pitched, with 10 of his 11 appearances being starts. On top of that, Pérez’s K% improved to 29.2%, while his BB% also jumped to 6.2%, still a solid number. Overall, his K-BB% increased to 23.1% which ranked fourth among pitchers with 40+ innings pitched.
As mentioned in the Torres article, getting velocity, scouting reports, and information in general can be difficult for players in the rookie leagues. However, Pérez has been ranked by other publications, as he ranked as Fangraphs’ 27th-best Blue Jays prospect and Scott Mitchell’s 13th-best prospect.
Mitchell notes that Pérez doesn’t have high velocity, nor projection, but instead relies on fantastic command, which is backed up by his walk rates. His fastball sits 92-93 mph, but Mitchell notes that the organization believes that could jump. Moreover, he has a curveball and changeup as his off-speed pitches.
Fangraphs notes that Pérez  doesn’t have much projection left, but sits 91-94 mph and is “polished”. His curveball sits in the upper-70s and “has good depth”. The changeup has arm-side action as well.
The best thing about prospects is how rapidly everything can change. When signed for a $10,000 bonus, I don’t think anyone expected the Nicaraguan pitcher to rank in the Blue Jays top 30 just two seasons later, yet, he’s on the brink of my list and already ranks in the teens on another one.
Pérez’s 2024 will be an interesting to monitor, as the Blue Jays may be aggressive with him and start him in Single-A. If not starting there, it wouldn’t be all too surprising if he’s called up to A-ball affiliate towards the end of the season.

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 50: Luis Torres
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 49: T.J. Brock
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 48: Will Robertson
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 47: Irv Carter
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown- No. 46: Trent Palmer

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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