Don’t get used to seeing Eury Pérez pitch out of the bullpen. Saturday’s appearance was an anomaly. The powers that be decided Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller was the appropriate choice to start the Futures Game for the National League simply because the event was hosted at the home ballpark of his parent organization.
Pérez took the mound for the top of the second inning and showed exactly why talent evaluators project such a bright future for him.
The opposing batters during that frame were Yainer Díaz (Astros), George Valera (Guardians) and Curtis Mead (Rays). Each of them have put up great offensive numbers at Double-A this season, the same level that Pérez competes at. Díaz and Mead have already been promoted to Triple-A.
The burgeoning Marlins ace retired all three (groundout, strikeout and lazy flyout to center field, respectively). In the span of only 10 pitches, Pérez flaunted his full arsenal—slider, curveball, changeup and four-seam fastball—with a maximum velocity of 99.0 miles per hour.
Baseball America ranks Pérez as the ninth-best MLB prospect. He is seventh according to FanGraphs, 15th on MLB Pipeline’s list and eighth in the eyes of Baseball Prospectus. Rarely in Marlins history has there been a player who was so widely adored by national outlets.
Every step of his minor league journey, Pérez has faced older, more experienced batters. He keeps kicking their asses. Through 33 career MiLB games (all starts), he has posted a 2.44 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with 195 K in 140.0 IP. The only minor leaguer (min. 100 IP) who’s been more efficient at limiting baserunners over the last two seasons is Baltimore’s Grayson Rodríguez, and he is sidelined by a right lat strain.
Pérez, who celebrated his 19th birthday three months ago, was the youngest pitcher selected to the Futures Game this year. He was the only NL pitcher to throw a complete inning without allowing any baserunners in what was ultimately a 6-4 AL victory.
I don’t expect to see Pérez participating in the 2023 Futures Game—health permitting, he will be in the Marlins major league rotation by then.