Welcome to the first-ever installment of the Motor City Bengals Top 20 Detroit Tigers prospects. The MCB staff has compiled our prospect lists and we will be releasing our consensus rankings, along with a breakdown of each player, in a series of articles in the coming days. In this article, we look at Franklin Pérez, our #12 prospect.
Detroit Tigers fans were finally able to see Frankin Pérez pitch in summer camp and stoked to see he threw without any pain. Pérez one of several prospects the Tigers received in the Justin Verlander deal, is coming back from a variety of injuries going back to 2018 and is set to hopefully get a call up to Detroit soon.
Franklin Perez’s Background
Pérez was signed as an international free agent by the Astros in July of 2014. He stands at 6’3 197lbs and features four pitches, a fastball, curve, slider, and a changeup. James Chipman of Prospects Live observed that his fastball tops out around 96MPH and he can locate on both sides of the plate, which is good if he wanted to throw it inside to lefties. His curve is his second-best pitch.
His rise thru Houston’s farm system was his control as he was showing the ability to get ahead in the count early as evident at being 19 years old and already in Double-A Corpus Christi in 2017. For the Tigers, he has thrown just 27 innings so far. Detroit has been conservative about bringing back slowly from the injuries he has had, ranging from a right lat strain to shoulder inflammation which is the right approach because Detroit did not need to rush him back.
Ron Gardenhire, among others, was hoping to see some more velocity in his fastball when they talk about his summer camp performance in 2020.
Franklin Perez’s Strengths:
As I mentioned earlier, control and command his four-pitch arsenal in addition to having two plus off-speed offerings with his changeup and curve, which has been described as 11/5. In other words, if you are watching him behind the plate and you look at the hands of a clock, his curveball moves 11 to 5 like it would on a clock. He has the typical workhorse frame, the big lower half that allows driving the ball to the plate.
Franklin Perez’s Weaknesses:
His ability to stay healthy. The injury setbacks plus losing a season in the minors in 2020 has hurt his development. So far in his time in the Tigers minor league system, he has nine total starts.
Our Take on Franklin Perez
It would be disingenuous of me to add filler to his strengths and weaknesses when outside of the clips I have seen from Detroit Tigers Minor League Tracker and James Chipman so this is going by small sample sizes I have watched. He carries a reliever risk because of his injuries. I would like to see more of what he can do wherever the Tigers send him outside of the 2 1/2 innings in spring training and the few innings in summer camp.
There is a lot of promise in his arm. Detroit’s patient approach on how he has handled his injuries has looked to pay off with him throwing pain-free. If Perez can throw good innings wherever he starts in the minors, he could earn a September call up.
The upside the Tigers brass saw in Perez is there, now we get to finally see a full season of what he can do to help the Tigers in the rebuild.
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