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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Beltran Perez

By Brian Brunk

Beltran Perez: another pitching product of the Dominican Republic, Perez was a scrawny 17 year old when the Diamondbacks signed him as a non-drafted free agent in 1999. Today, at 19, he stands 6’2" and weighs in at around 157 lbs. The Diamondbacks were immediately impressed with his fastball, which has good movement and clocks in the low 90s. He also showed good breaking balls and outstanding control for someone so young so they were quick to jump on him.

Perez has exploded onto the hot prospect circuit with a breakout 2001 campaign spent with the South Bend Silver Hawks of the Midwest League (low-A). For someone so young he has essentially dominated opposing batters to the tune of a 12-4 record complimented by a very impressive 2.81 ERA. What I find more impressive is that through 160 innings pitched he has only allowed 147 hits and 35 BBs, this equates to a 1.13 WHIP and I’ve always found that although strikeouts and ERA are great to look at, a young pitcher’s WHIP is the greatest determining factor when forecasting future success. Now, that’s not to say that Perez is lacking in the other areas as we’ve already pointed out he has a very impressive ERA and has essentially averaged a strikeout an inning with 157 Ks through 160 IP. The more I look at his numbers and factor in his age the more psyched I become about this kid.

Gotta learn to temper those expectations though. I’ve learned not to get too excited over young pitchers, more often than not you end up getting burned. Yes, Perez looks like an outstanding young prospect. In fact, I might be persuaded to go so far as to say he’s probably the second best arm in the Diamondbacks’ farm system. However, 160 innings is a lot of work for someone so young and you gotta wonder what the D-backs are thinking pushing the kid like that. Perez will start 2002 at high-A with Lancaster and should he continue his success will likely earn a second half promotion to El Paso (AA). Given the state of the D-backs current rotation I think we probably won’t hear from this kid until at least September of 2003 and he could possibly challenge for a rotation spot in 2004 (Randy and Curt should be gone by then…. shouldn’t they?). A lot of things have gotta go right in order for that to happen and 3 years equals a lot of innings for someone so young and throwing at his current pace.


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