We continue our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.
Scouting report, via Fangraphs:
Perez had an unspectacular DSL line but he has bat speed and is a good defender for an 18-year-old. Of all the Honorable Mention names, he’s the one who’d carry the most weight in a trade for us.
Jay: NR, Ethan: 18th, Alex: 20th
Dreaming on catching prospects is a dangerous thing. They’re historically the ones that take the longest to develop as they not only have to worry about their offensive game, they have to worry about the pitcher’s comfort level on the mound, whether he is carrying out the correct gameplan for said pitcher, how he is moving behind the plate, whether teams are alerted to his signals and whether or not teams can run on him.
And that’s just the stuff on the field. Just imagine the off field aspect of the game. Meetings, video dissection of both the opposition and of your own swing. It’s a lot. Now we can get a sense of why catching prospects take so long to marinate.
When building a catching prospect, I like to see him with a high floor defensively so that more of the work can go into the offensive side. That way, the balance of development work can go into things like hitting mechanics with the defense needing refinement or less intensive development. If the team is having to worry about making sure he is progressing with the bat and the glove since it’s all based on projection, it can lead to a higher risk of flaming out as a catching prospect, and in the Phillies’ case, can lead to basically lighting his signing bonus ($1.2 million) right one fire. With Perez, it’s clear that you have to dream a little bit, but from all of the reports that we have seen, his defense is already pretty good, relative to a 18 year-old catcher. That seems like a solid base from which to build. If he can begin the climb to hitting his projected grades for offense, the team could have another solid catching prospect on their hands soon, something they have actually been pretty good at creating.
Of all the rankings we do, Perez is probably the one who could make us all look very silly soon if he doesn’t develop. For now, we’ll just continue to dream.