When it comes to starting pitcher depth in the Miami Marlins’ organization, most of the conversation comes at the top levels of the minor leagues — Edward Cabrera with Triple A Jacksonville and the four 2020 draft picks who are in Double A (Max Meyer, Jake Eder, Zach McCambley and Kyle Nicolas).
But let’s take a moment and go down to Class A Jupiter, where another pitcher on the rise is continuing to impress.
The pitcher of discussion: Right-hander Eury Perez, an 18-year-old who is 6-8 and has a fastball that regularly hits the upper 90s and has two quality secondary pitches.
He’s in his first season of professional baseball after signing for $200,000 as an international free agent in the summer of 2019 out of the Dominican Republic and losing the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
His response? He has been one of the top pitchers across Class A this season.
Through his first 13 starts this year, Perez has a 1.88 ERA and 66 strikeouts against 17 walks in 48 innings. His ERA is the third best among pitchers who have thrown as many innings as him at the lowest full-season level of the minors. He also has the third-best batting average against in Class A (.175), is tied for the fourth-lowest walks and hits per inning mark (0.98) and 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (12.38).
Baseball America recently ranked Perez as the No. 7 prospect in the Marlins’ system in its midseason update.
Perez’s success is a direct result of a mature, repeatable delivery — a rarity for young pitchers and even more so for a pitcher of his size. His ability to throw his curveball and changeup for strikes is a plus as well.
The Marlins haven’t fully stretched Perez out during his first season. He hasn’t gone past the fifth inning in any of his first 13 starts and has thrown more than 70 pitches in just two of those 13 outings.
But this first year is more about establishing a routine than it is proving how far he can pitch into a game. The Marlins are careful with their prospects at the lower levels, finding the balance between challenging them to test their limits but also making sure they don’t go too far and wind up hurting themselves and stunting their progress in the interim.
More minor-league highlights
▪ Outfielders Griffin Conine and JJ Bleday had solid weeks at the plate with Double A Pensacola. Conine went 7 for 20 with two home runs, a double and six RBI while Bleday went 6 for 19 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, five RBI and seven runs scored.
▪ An obligatory Bryson Brigman update: He hit .409 with Triple A Jacksonville, going 9 for 22 with two doubles, two RBI and seven runs scored. On the season, Brigman is hitting .327 with an .853 OPS.
▪ Some other notable hitting marks: Victor Victor Mesa has made the most of his demotion from Double A to Class A Advanced Beloit. He’s hitting .353 with four doubles, two home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in his first 12 games with the Snappers. ... Center fielder Kameron Misner had two home runs last week with Beloit and now has eight on the season. ... Shortstop Jose Salas continues to dominate in the rookie Florida Complex League. He has a .406 batting average with five doubles and 10 runs scored through his first 19 games.